London, July 31 : Almost 50 percent of British adults believe in captive space aliens, and topping the list of such generally-held truths is a secret plot to harbour aliens at a remote military base in a desert in the United States, says a new survey.
The online poll was conducted to coincide with the UK cinema release of 'I Want to Believe', the second X-Files film, which aimed to uncover the most popular conspiracy theories.
The survey uncovered that almost fifty percent of respondents believe there is some truth in the legend of Area 51, which holds that Groom Lake, in Nevada, was a covert base for extra-terrestrial studies, after a spaceship crashed there in the 1950s.
A large number of Britons believe the stories about sophisticated spacecraft, "footage" of grey aliens, and testimonies from former employees passed down through the years. All this has helped convince them about the "Roswell incident".
In fact, more than one in three respondents (38 per cent) believe that the 9/11 atrocity was part of a US government plot to create an excuse to invade and Afghanistan.
One third of participants pointed to a "lack of debris" outside the Pentagon crash site as proof that all is not as it seems.
40 per cent of respondents consider the Apollo Moon landing as a hoax, and claim that American flag could not have been pictured flapping in the wind as there would have been no breeze in space.
Many believe that a royal plot was behind the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed. Based on the letters from the princess to her butler, 28 per cent of Brits think that the deaths were not accidental.
The survey revealed that 61 percent believe in aliens, 52 percent think ghosts exist and 21 percent believe in monsters. Also, it said that 59 per cent believe they are psychic.
There is a whole bunch of UK residents who believe that Hollywood is controlled by the Church of Scientology, which has many film stars as members.
According to Dr James Boys, who lectures on conspiracy theories in political and social history at Richmond, the American International University, in London people believe in outlandish theories to avoid confronting their own mortality.
"It's a psychological defence mechanism to believe that things happen for a reason. To recognise that someone as beautiful as Diana or powerful as Kennedy can be snuffed out in an instant, is to recognise the same can happen to you," The Scotsman quoted him, as saying.
He added: "In fact I would go so far as to say that it is suspiciously coincidental that Area 51 comes out on top in a poll timed with the release of The X-Files film. There is a distinct possibility that this is a public relations stunt, a conspiracy in itself."
Pete Johnson, the spokesman for 20th Century Fox in Scotland, said: "We commissioned the poll from experts and all conspiracy theories are open to interpretation. Everyone is interested in conspiracy theories."