National Institute for Discovery Science


Roper Press Release

PRESS RELEASE National Institute for Discovery Science
June 7, 1999


NASA and the scientific community are actively searching for evidence of extraterrestrial life, but what if we were confronted with undeniable proof that ETs exist and have been visiting Earth?

A nationwide survey by the Roper Organization has uncovered the following: out of four Americans think most people would "totally freak out and panic" if such evidence were confirmed.

...eighty percent of influential Americans think the US government would classify or suppress evidence of extraterrestrial life.

The Roper survey was conducted on behalf of the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS), a privately funded scientific research organization based in Las Vegas, NV. The pollsters asked a nationwide sample of 1,971 men and women a variety of questions concerning a sudden confirmation of extraterrestrial life. (The poll has error margins of 2.5 percent.)

Among other findings:

When asked what they thought UFOs were, 25% thought they were alien spaceships, 12% thought they were secret government programs, 9% said hallucinations, 19% said UFOs are normal events that are misinterpreted by witnesses, and 7% said travelers from other dimensions.

When asked whom they would choose to make first contact with ETs on Earth, 20% said the military, 29% said scientists, 14% said the government, 11% said religious leaders and 20% said a private organization that had planned for such a contingency.

"There have been no systematic studies about the potential impact of confirmed contact", says Dr. Colm Kelleher, deputy administrator of NIDS. A 1960 report by the Brookings Institute and an internal RAND document from 1968 predicted profound social consequences if contact were confirmed, but there have been no follow-up studies.

For more information about the Roper survey and about NIDS, keep reading, or visit the NIDS website at:

When asked how they would react psychologically to confirmation of advanced extraterrestrial life, 32% said they were "fully prepared to handle it", 17% said they would "rethink their place in the universe". Yet when asked how they think OTHERS would react to the same news, 25% said that "most people would totally freak out and panic", 10% said most others would "act irrationally and become dangerous to others", 14% said that others would "begin to act very strangely", 36% said "most people would be very concerned", and only 13% said "most people would handle the information in a calm and rational way".

Since 1995, NIDS has been conducting scientific research into unconventional and novel areas including aerial phenomena research. NIDS's president and founder is Robert Bigelow. The Las Vegas based organization employs a staff of Ph.D. level, multi-disciplinary scientists and is advised by a world class science advisory board.

Kelleher pointed to ongoing serious scientific studies on the remote possibility of an asteroid striking the planet. "On the other hand we have no government programs, no contingency plans that are in the public domain for coping with the possibility of E.T. contact.  Yet these numbers from Roper say that 80% of the trend-setters in America do not trust the government to inform the public and one in four of the general public think there would be total panic if confirmation of advanced extraterrestrials occurred", said Kelleher.

The full text of the poll can be accessed on the NIDS website at:, or contact Dr. Colm Kelleher at NIDS at 702-798-1700 or nids @

Jean Henry of the Roper Organization can be reached at: 914-698-0800