Roughly 55 percent of Americans think the government would keep alien life secret if given a chance, according to a new YouGov poll.
The poll found U.S. residents were deeply skeptical of how the government would handle first contact with aliens.
When asked “if we discover or are discovered by an alien species one day, do you think it is more likely that the government would tell the public or keep it secret?” only 19 percent agreed the government would tell the public.
Republicans were more likely to be skeptical of the government’s trustworthiness than Democrats, with 61 percent saying the government would keep it secret. Only 51 percent of Democrats held that opinion. Republicans and Democrats are about equally likely to believe in UFOs.
Americans were unsure if aliens would be friendly to humanity, with 29 percent suspecting they would be, while 19 percent suspected any alien life would be hostile. Roughly 12 percent of U.S. adults believe that the government has already made contact with aliens, but is covering up that fact.
The poll was conducted in late February from a representative sample of 2,008 U.S. adults.
When pollsters surveyed the group about surveying the seven planets around the TRAPPIST-1 solar system for aliens, 40 percent of Americans think the planets likely contain some form of extra-terrestrial life, while only 16 percent thought they probably don’t.