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One in four Russians expect close encounter with aliens, poll says

April 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM

MOSCOW, April 12 (UPI) -- Nearly one in four Russians expect extraterrestrials will contact Earth within 50 years, an opinion poll published Friday said.

Although a majority of those surveyed, 53 percent, said they do not believe in aliens, 23 percent expect an alien civilization to contact humans, the Russian news agency RIA-Novosti reported.

The poll was undertaken to mark Cosmonauts Day, which commemorates the 1961 flight into space of Yuri Gagarin. Its findings were reported shortly after an influential Russian Orthodox Church official commented that people often mistook angels and demons for aliens, RIA-Novosti said.

The poll of 1,500 respondents has a margin of error of less than 5 percentage points.

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