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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 28

Southerners Less Inclined To 'Believe In' UFOs

From: Stig Agermose <wanderer@post8.tele.dk>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 04:57:30 +0200
Fwd Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 23:45:16 -0400
Subject: Southerners Less Inclined To 'Believe In' UFOs

>From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. URL:




Cosmic mysteries continue to intrigue

By Carolyn Nizzi Warmbold
Journal-Constitution Staff Writer

Some results of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Southern
Focus Poll may bring smiles of recognition to readers of
supermarket tabloids.

A sizeable minority of respondents believe in UFOs, ghosts,
extraterrestrials and psychic healing. An even greater number
place credence in devil possession, superstitions and ESP.

These topics, mostly ignored or ridiculed in the mainstream
media, have long been staples in the weeklies sold near checkout
lines. These papers' content combines a high CQ - cosmic
quotient - with grocery-store gospel - news of weeping Madonnas
and the like.

A recent Sun, for example,  predicted a Great Flood in a cover
spread labeled "Bible Prophecies Come True." In other stories,
it asserted that "demonic possessions have risen to plague-like
proportions" and that there is "a frightening rash of UFO
sightings throughout North America." It linked Mother Teresa to
a bleeding crucifix in Calcutta, and ran an ad for a prayer with
an "iron-clad guarantee."

The AJC poll suggests that such topics do resonate with large
numbers. History suggests this has long been the case.
Supermarket tabloids' content can be traced at least as far back
as English "broadside ballads," published in the 16th to 19th
centuries. These were rhymed compositions, often about crimes,
public hangings or cosmic phenomena, printed on a single sheet,
to be sung and sold in the street. The broadsides were often
illustrated with woodcut prints of their subjects: a pig-headed
woman, ghosts walking,
a woman possessed.


Do you believe in psychic or spiritual healing, or the power of
the mind to heal the body?=A0

Not sure........12%............13%
Don't believe...39%............29%

Source: AJC Southern Focus Poll

The 17th-century diarist Samuel Pepys categorized broadside
themes in 10 categories, which have endured through the
centuries to our tabloid era. These include devotion and
morality; "history - true and fabulous"; tragedy, including
judgments of God; and "love fortunate" and "love unfortunate."

For the moment, however, supermarket tabloids' CQ seems to be
declining. Not too many years ago, stories about hauntings, UFO
sightings and miracles were common in The National Enquirer, the
nation's best-selling and best-known tab. Recently, however, the
Enquirer has trended more toward Hollywood phenoms than heavenly

The gap is not likely to be filled by the mainstream daily
press, despite the recent surge in coverage of religion, faith
and values. These pages and sections are more apt to cite
ordained ministers than doomsday specialists.


Do you believe extraterrestrial beings have visited
Earth at some time in the past?=A0

Not sure........21%.......25%
Don't believe...47%.......38%

Source: AJC Southern Focus Poll

But that doesn't mean the archetypal news of cosmic mystery will
go unreported. The void, one suspects, will largely be filled by
the Internet, home of niche interests. UFO Web sites featured
photos and videos of sightings, interviews with abductees,
reports, articles and much more, including 52 indicators of UFO
encounters or alien abduction.

Exclamation-point headlines being the staple of supermarket
tabloids, let me predict this one: World Wide Web to Go
Cosmic!!! That prognostication, be warned, does not come with an
ironclad guarantee.

E-mail staff writer Carolyn Nizzi Warmbold.