UFOs and the Existence of Supernatural Demonic ForcesYouTube Video
by Rich Deem


Supernatural Demonic Forces

There is a television show called Supernatural, in which the world is haunted by demonic supernatural forces that the main characters are attempting to eliminate. Do supernatural demonic forces actually exist? Is there any scientific evidence?


Hundreds of thousands of people have seen UFOs. Although most of these observations can be explained as natural, earthly phenomena, there are a significant number of UFOs that defy these explanations. At least a quarter of Americans believe these objects are real UFOs inhabited by real extraterrestrial aliens.1 In this article, I propose that these are real sightings, but that the objects themselves are not real, but spiritual apparitions, produced by spiritual demonic beings (demons). Although demons can use various techniques to distract and deceive people, one of their prime methods in this era of technology is to convince human beings that they are not specially created, but just one of a myriad of civilizations scattered throughout the galaxy and universe that arose purely through naturalistic means. It is interesting to note that UFO sightings did not begin until after human beings had invented rocket technology—shortly after World War II. The hypothesis that UFO phenomena are partly due to demonic apparitions can be tested, and the data from those tests are presented for the first time in this article.

Residual UFO hypothesis

According to biblical Christianity, God created supernatural angelic beings as helpers of humanity. However, Satan, the original leader of the angels, rebelled against God and convinced one third of the angels (now referred to as demons) to join him in rebellion against God.2 These demons now spend their time trying to convince human beings that God does not exist and to follow them in rebellion against God. The residual UFO hypothesis states that supernatural demonic forces are able to manifest in ways that produce lights and "spaceships" that mimic what one would expect to see if extraterrestrial beings were visiting our planet. However, none of these entities are material objects, which is why there is no verified physical evidence of these creatures or their technology. Even so, these demons have done such a thorough job that they have convinced 25% of Americans that UFOs have visited the earth.1

Lights in the Sky & Little Green Men: A Rational Christian Look at Ufos and ExtraterrestrialsAccording to biblical Christianity, we would make several predictions about the nature of these interactions. First, we would predict that demons would be most interested in convincing agnostics, atheists, and spiritual-disinterested parties that UFOs are real and that extraterrestrial aliens exist. According to the Bible, Christians are indwelt with God's Holy Spirit which makes them resistant to the influence of demonic forces.3 In fact, Christians are advised to test the spirits to determine if they are from God.4 However, unbelievers lack spiritual discernment, so would be susceptible to demonic trickery.5

UFO sighting data

The National UFO Reporting Center has been collecting accounts of UFO sightings for decades. Their website makes these statistics available for download, which is where much of the data contained in this report has been collected. If UFO sightings were the result of demons trying to trick unbelievers, we would expect that the number of sightings should be proportional to the number of unbelievers. Since the United States has become more secular in recent years, the hypothesis would predict that the number of UFO sightings should increase with the increasing numbers of unbelievers. The graph to the right shows the number of UFO sightings from 1970 to 2014. Plotted along with these numbers are the number of individuals in the United States who have declared their religion to be "none."6 These data confirm the correlation between the number of unbelievers and the number of UFO sightings over the last 45 years. However, the correlation is complicated by the fact that cell phone technology and the rise of the Internet makes reporting of such sightings much easier, probably accounting for at least some of the increase in UFO sightings.

UFO sightings versus unbelievers by state

Most of you are probably aware that different states of the United States are either "red" or "blue" states by political preference. In the same way, the number of religious vs. non-religious individuals varies widely by state. If the presence of unbelievers in a state is driving the number of UFO sightings, we should see a correlation between those numbers and the frequency of UFO sightings (sightings/100,000 individuals). These two values are plotted against each other for the 50 U.S. states plus District of Columbia in the graph to the right.7 The correlation is remarkable, giving us a Pearson's correlation coefficient (r value) of 0.75 (where a value of 1.00 is perfect). The p value for these 51 points is 1.9 x 10-10. So, the probability of this result happening by chance is less than 1 in one 5 billion!

UFO sightings in religious states

In the same way that the number of unbelievers might drive UFO sightings, high numbers of religious people in a state would be expected to result in fewer UFO sightings. UFO sightings by state were plotted against the percentage of people who attend church weekly and also their religiosity score (from two different studies by Gallup). As expected, measures of religious activity were negatively correlated with the frequency of UFO sightings.8 The r values for those correlations were 0.61 and 0.54, respectively (with p values of 1.8 x 10-6 and 3.7 x 10-5). So, these correlations support the spiritual hypothesis for UFO sightings in the United States.

Geographic correlations

The reason I first became interested in this topic was due to an article in The Atlantic that claimed UFO sightings were the result of "mostly drunk people in the West."9 They came up with the idea that the people were drinking alcohol because UFOs were sighted mostly between dinner-time and sleeping time (see graph in References, below). Looking at the map of UFO sighting frequencies showed that higher frequencies of sightings were found in the West, producing a negative correlation between longitude and sightings (graph, right).10 A close look at the graph shows that most the states that have high longitude and low UFO sightings are in the Southeast. Of course, this part of the United States is affectionately referred to the "Bible Belt." So, the difference between West and East is more likely due to religiosity than longitude, per se (Unless one were to propose that extraterrestrial aliens have a peculiar preference for the western portion of the United States over the eastern portion.). Since the majority of UFO sightings probably have a natural explanation, it might be hypothesized that the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) might play a role in the prevalence of UFO sightings. Therefore, one would expect higher UFO sighting frequencies at higher latitudes (more North). The second graph to the right does show a positive correlation between latitude and UFO sightings. However, the aurora borealis is only commonly seen at latitudes above 55° north, which is north of all U.S. states other than Alaska.11 So, it is unlikely the aurora is a probable explanation for the geographic correlation. Like the correlation with longitude, the correlation of latitude with UFO sightings is highly influenced by the low frequency of UFO sightings in Bible belt states (lower left quadrant of the graph). So, it would seem that geographic correlations are probably the result of skewed religious preference in the southeastern U.S.

Racial/ethnic correlations

UFO sightings are not correlated with the percentage of Hispanic or Asians in a state (see table, below).12 There is a barely significant positive correlation of the percentage of Caucasians with UFO sightings. However, there is a highly significant negative correlation of the number of African Americans with UFO sightings. Again, the graph, right, shows that the correlation is due to the presence of large percentages of Blacks in the southeastern, Bible belt states. In addition, Blacks have a higher percentage of believers compared to other racial groups,13 which would be expected from the hypothesis. So, again, the differences in frequencies of UFO sightings based on ethnicity are really the result of religious differences.

Educational attainment

Surprisingly, there are correlations between education and frequencies of UFO sightings, although the correlations are not what one would intuitively expect. First, there is no correlation between the percentage of those with college degrees and UFO sightings (see table, below).14 However, there is a positive correlation between those who have only a high school diploma and UFO sightings. The saying, "A little learning is a dangerous thing"15 just might be true. Surveys have shown that those with high school degrees believe that UFOs really are the result of aliens compared to college graduates.16

There is a highly significant negative correlation between the percentage of those who didn't graduate high school and UFO sightings. Do we really think that less educated people would see fewer UFOs? A closer examination of the graph, right, shows that this correlation is also due to lower high school graduation rates in the Bible belt states, suggesting that this correlation is also the result of religious differences.

Other correlations

We have examined several other demographic measures that would not be expected to correlate with UFO sightings according to our hypothesis (see table, below). The data shows that UFO sightings do not correlate with per capita income,16 age,17 percent underemployed workers,7 percent government workers7 or percent that lean toward the Democratic party.7 One would expect that commute time might be positively correlated with UFO sightings, since people would have a longer time on the road to see UFOs. Instead, there is a barely significant negative correlation between commute time and the frequency of UFO sightings.18

Correlation of UFO Sighting Frequencies
Parameter r p
Religious measures
No Religion7 0.750 1.89 x 10-10
Very Religious8 -0.543 3.56 x 10-5
Weekly Church8 -0.610 1.84 x 10-6
Latitude10 0.495 2.12 x 10-4
Longitude10 -0.420 2.12 x 10-3
Racial/ethnic measures
Caucasian12 0.277 4.89 x 10-2
Asian12 -0.103 4.72 x 10-1*
Black12 -0.590 4.73 x 10-6
Hispanic12 0.053 7.11 x 10-1*
Educational attainment
Not High School14 -0.544 3.44 x 10-5
Advanced Degree14 -0.066 6.44 x 10-1*
Bachelor's14 0.029 8.38 x 10-1*
High School14 0.431 1.55 x 10-3
Income16 -0.109 4.45 x 10-1*
Median Age17 0.211 1.37 x 10-1*
Commute Time18 -0.323 2.07 x 10-2
Underemployed7 -0.065 6.50 x 10-1*
Government Workers7 0.099 4.90 x 10-1*
Democrat Lean7 -0.154 2.81 x 10-1*
*p=not significant                                                        

Residual UFO predictions

If UFO sightings are the result of demonic supernatural appearances, our hypothesis predicts there would be increasing numbers of UFO appearances as the United States continues to become more secular. The correlation between the frequency of UFO sightings and lack of religious preference should also increase. We will test these predictions in future years.

Conclusion Top of page

In the United States, the frequency of UFO sightings is strongly correlated with the percentage of unbelievers within a state, and negatively correlated with the percentage of believers. In addition, the tremendous rise in UFO sightings in recent years parallels the rapid secularization of the U.S. population. No other demographic factor is as strongly correlated with UFO sightings as religiosity. These data, coupled with biblical insights, leads us to conclude that supernatural demonic forces are responsible for at least some of those UFO sightings. The model makes testable predictions about the future UFO sightings frequencies. The implications of the study suggest that demonic supernatural beings exist, providing further evidence that God exists and that Christianity properly describes the spiritual nature of the universe in which we live.

References Top of page

  1. Emily Swanson. 2013. Alien Poll Finds Half Of Americans Think Extraterrestrial Life Exists. 6/21/2013.
  2. And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth. (Revelation 12:3-4)
  3. Christians are filled with the Spirit of God:
    • And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:4)
    • Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
    • While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. (Acts 10:44)
    • and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)
    • Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
    • for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. (1 Thessalonians 1:5)
  4. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
  5. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
  6. UFO sighting data from National UFO Reporting Center, retrieved 7/3/2014.
    U.S. Population 1776 to Present from Google Fusion Table, retrieved 7/3/2014.
    Religious preference "none" from United States Religious Preferences 1972-2010, US General Social Survey.
  7. National UFO Reporting Center, Report Index by State/Province, retrieved 7/3/2014.
    Frank Newport. 2012. Mississippi Is Most Religious U.S. State Vermont and New Hampshire are the least religious states. Gallup.com, 3/27/2012.
  8. National UFO Reporting Center, Report Index by State/Province, retrieved 7/3/2014.
    Mississippians Go to Church the Most; Vermonters, Least. Gallup.com, 2/17/2010.
  9. Derek Thompson. 2014. The Hard Data on UFO Sightings: It's Mostly Drunk People in the West The Atlantic.
  10. National UFO Reporting Center, Report Index by State/Province, retrieved 7/3/2014.
    Average Latitude and Longitude for US States.
  11. Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  12. National UFO Reporting Center, Report Index by State/Province, retrieved 7/3/2014.
    Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013 (NST-EST2013-01). U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. Release Date: December 2013.
  13. Ethnic Groups Differ Substantially On Matters of Faith. Gallup.com, 8/10/2004.
  14. National UFO Reporting Center, Report Index by State/Province, retrieved 7/3/2014.
    Education - The 2012 Statistical Abstract. U.S. Census Bureau.
  15. Alexander Pope. 1711. An Essay on Criticism.
  16. D. A. Vakoch, A. A. Harrison, eds. 2011. Civilizations Beyond Earth: Extraterrestrial Life and Society .
  17. National UFO Reporting Center, Report Index by State/Province, retrieved 7/3/2014.
    Per Capita Personal Income by State, 1990 to 2012. Bureau of Business and Economic Research, University of New Mexico, retrieved 7/3/2014.
  18. National UFO Reporting Center, Report Index by State/Province, retrieved 7/3/2014.
    Age and Sex Composition: 2010 Census Briefs.  U.S. Census Bureau.
  19. National UFO Reporting Center, Report Index by State/Province, retrieved 7/3/2014.
    Commuting (Journey to Work) - Commuting/Place of Work/Travel Time - People and Households - U.S. Census Bureau.

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Last Modified August 17, 2014


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