There is a widespread belief that alien beings have traveled to Earth from some other planet and are doing reproductive experiments on a chosen few. Despite the incredible nature of this belief and a lack of credible supportive evidence, a cult has grown up around it. According to a Gallup poll done at the end of the twentieth century, about one-third of Americans believe aliens have visited us, an increase of 5% over the previous decade.
According to the tenets of this cult, aliens crashed at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. The U.S. Government recovered the alien craft and its occupants, and has been secretly meeting with aliens ever since in a place known as area 51. The rise in UFO sightings is due to the increase in alien activity on Earth. The aliens are abducting people in larger numbers, are leaving other signs of their presence in the form of so-called crop circles, are involved in cattle mutilation, and occasionally provide revelations such as the Urantia Book to selected prophets. The support for these beliefs about aliens and UFOs consists mostly of speculation, fantasy, fraud, and unjustified inferences from questionable evidence and testimony. UFO devotees are also convinced that there is a government and mass media conspiracy to cover up the alien activities, making it difficult for them to prove that the aliens have landed.
[Exerpted from The Skeptic's Dictionary]
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