Aliens often compete with superheroes, vampires and zombies to top hit movie lists - but more than a third of Americans say UFOs are not a fantasy.
That's the word from a new National Geographic Channel study finding that 80 million Americans are certain UFOs exist and that one in 10 believe they've spotted one.
"We wanted the pulse on people's opinions," says Brad Dancer, senior vice president of research and digital media for National Geographic. "We wanted to get a sense of how Americans view UFOs, what people believe and how mainstream pop culture may or may not be playing into their opinions on it."
The results are in: Seventeen percent of Americans don't believe UFOs exist, 36% think they do, and 48% aren't sure.
The survey was commissioned for National Geographic Channel's series Chasing UFOs, premiering Friday at 9 p.m. ET.
About 79% of those surveyed think the government has kept information about UFOs a secret from the public, and 55% believe there are real-life Men in Black-style agents who threaten people who spot UFOs.
So what if they stopped by? The survey shows:
•22% would try to befriend the alien, 15% would run away, 13% would lock their doors, and only 2% would try to inflict bodily harm.
•If angry aliens did attack Earth, 21% would call the Hulk in to deal with it, 12% would call Batman, and 8% would call Spider-Man.
•Nearly 65% think Barack Obama would be better suited than Mitt Romney to handle an alien invasion.
Extraterrestrial beings could not be reached for comment.
By Natalie DiBlasio, USA TODAY