THE ALEXANDER UFO RELIGIOUS CRISIS SURVEY
THE IMPACT OF UFOS AND THEIR OCCUPANTS ON RELIGION
Conducted by Victoria Alexander
The Bigelow Foundation
Please Note: Names of participants are confidential and provided only to The Bigelow Foundation
The Alexander UFO Religious Crisis survey addresses just one of many problems facing the UFO Community: how would organized religions in the United States react to confirmation of contact with an advanced extraterrestrial civilization. The results of this pilot survey are straightforward and remarkably simple. The theologians surveyed would not feel their faith and the faith of their congregation would be threatened. The following results, based upon a 23% return (230 surveys) should have a significant and meaningful impact on the UFO Community, its doctrines and attitudes.
On Tuesday, March 8, 1994 I mailed 1000 pilot surveys to randomly selected religious bodies in the continental United States. I obtained the names and addresses from PhoneDisc Reverse Fall 1993 (Data Base American Companies), which divides the country into five regions: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Central and West. l addressed the envelopes to Monsignor/Father, Pastor and Rabbi. Included was a self-addressed, stamped return envelope. Based upon the figures presented below, 563 surveys were sent to Protestant churches (i.e., Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Lutheran, etc.), 396 to Roman Catholic Churches and 41 Synagogues. (See Table 1)
The surveys continued to come in daily and the project was closed Friday, April 29, 1994. (Six more surveys were received after the closing date: Two from Protestant Pastors and four from R. Catholic fathers. Since the Statistical Analysis was already completed, these additional six survey answers have not been included). 45 envelopes were returned due to insufficient address or addressee could not be located by mail service. I placed the survey in a new envelope and selected another address by religious denomination and state.
Based upon the closing date figures, the total number of surveys returned was 230: 134 from Protestant churches, 86 from Roman Catholic churches and 10 from synagogues. Of the 230 respondents, 62 (Protestant), 36 (R. Catholic) and 4 (Jewish) filled out the "Comments" section of the survey, totaling 102 Comments. 141 respondents filled out the "Optional Information" section (86 from Protestant churches, 48 from Roman Catholic churches and 7 from synagogues). 81 Protestant respondents answered the "Approximate Size of Congregation" line, the numbers totaling 35,824 families; 45 R. Catholic respondents answered the "Approximate Size of Congregation" line, totaling 56,208 families and 6 Jewish respondents answered the "Approximate Size of Congregation" line, totaling 1,445 families. Combined, the 230 respondent's answer to this question totals 93,477 families. Of the 230 surveys returned, 119 requested a copy of the Pilot survey: 75 (Protestant), 37 (R. Catholic) and 7 (Jewish). (See Table 1).
The survey consisted of one 11 X 14 legal size paper (printed on both sides) and a self-addressed stamped envelope. The appropriate number of surveys began "Dear Father," "Dear Pastor" and "Dear Rabbi." The introduction to the survey was intentionally brief, to respect the busy schedules of religious community leaders. I signed each survey. Mr. Bigelow, who advised me on the initial planning stage of the survey, made many useful suggestions which I incorporated. Most significantly, Mr. Bigelow wanted the inclusion of a section for comments. This addition greatly enhanced the survey and added a very rich and thought-provoking aspect to the results. (See "Comments from Survey").
Survey Results Protestant R. Catholic Jewish Total No. Of Mailings 563 396 41 1,000 Total Returns 134 86 10 230 No. Returned With "Comments" 62 36 4 102 No. Returned "Optional Information" 86 48 7 141 No. Responses "Size Of Congregation" 81 45 6 132 Total No. Of Families In Congregation 35,824 56,208 1,445 93,477 Requested Copy Of Report 75 37 7 119
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP FIGURES AND GEOGRAPHICAL BREAKDOWN
The division of the 1000 Pilot surveys was estimated by using figures obtained in the 1992 U.S. Statistical Abstract of the United States published by the Census Bureau. According to Chart No. 76. Religious Bodies-Church Membership, 1960 to 1989, and Number of Churches, 1989, the figures for 1989 are as follows: Protestant membership-79,387,000; Roman Catholic Church-57,020,000 and Jews-5,944,000. Based upon a U.S. population of 280 million, Protestants represent 28% of the population and 54% of church membership; Catholics represent 20% of the population and 38.6% of church membership and Jews represent 2% of the population and 4% of church membership. The fourth highest religious body, Eastern Churches, represent 1% of the population and 2% of church membership. These four religious bodies represent 52% of the U.S. population.
The geographical breakdown was arrived at by using Chart No.78., Christian Church Adherents, 1980, and Jewish Population, 1990-States, published in the 1992 U.S. Statistical Abstract of the United States. Christian population (Protestant and R. Catholic combined) in the Northeast of the U.S. represents 24% of the total figure arrived at above, which was divided thus: Protestant-133 churches and R.Catholic-95 churches. Jewish population in the Northeast represents 52% and surveys were mailed to 22 Northeast synagogues.
In the Midwest/Central region, 28% of the population is Christian, which was divided in this manner: total of Protestant churches:159 (113 in the Midwest and 46 in the Central region); R. Catholic churches: 111 (85 in the Midwest and 26 in the Central region). In the Midwest/Central region, 11% of the population is Jewish (represented by 4 synagogues).
In the South/Central region, 34% of the population is Christian, which was divided in this manner: total of Protestant churches:191 (141 in the South and 50 in the Central region); R. Catholic churches: 125 (105 in the South and 20 in the Central region). In the South/Central region, 19% of the population is Jewish (represented by 11 synagogues).
In the West region, 14% of the population is Christian, which was divided in this manner: total of Protestant churches: 85; R. Catholic churches: 64. In the West region, 18% of the population is Jewish (represented by 8 synagogues). (See Table 2).
Denomination Midwest/Northeast South/Central Central West Christian 24% 28% 34% 14% Protestant 133 159 (113/46) 191 (141/50) 85 R. Catholic 95 111 (85/26) 125 (105/20) 64 Jewish 52% 11% 19% 18% 22 4 (2/2) 11 (5/6) 8
1350 Vista Morada
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Your kind response to this pilot survey would be greatly appreciated by me. This informal survey deals with one specific topic, often raised by people in the government and scientific communities. Would irrefutable proof of intelligent extraterrestrial life in the universe have any effect on religious ideology in the U.S.?
You are in a position to assess your congregation's attitude on this subject. I feel your opinions would be invaluable to ascertaining the public's interest and thoughts about this fascinating and unusual subject.
Your responses are understood to be personal opinions only and will be treated as confidential research material. Your responses will not be construed as religious policy or used in any way to attempt to affect religious policy.