Ten per cent of B.C. residents believe the moon landings were a hoax. Plenty more believe in UFOs and that authorities are suppressing a cure for cancer

Poll finds B.C. fertile ground for conspiracy theories

Existence of UFOs, suppressed cancer cure most believed, according to survey

A new poll shows a majority of B.C. residents believe UFOs exist and 38 per cent believe a cure for cancer has been found but is being suppressed by government or big pharmaceutical firms.

Insights West president Steve Mossop said he was stunned by how many people reported believing in “some pretty outrageous conspiracy theories” in the polling firm’s latest survey.

“I nearly fell off my chair,” he said. “It’s amazing the level of skepticism that exists around certain things that most would regard as scientific truths or historical events.”

UFOs were either fully or somewhat believed by 52 per cent.

A large minority of 34 per cent buy one of the John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories, while 29 per cent believe that Princess Diana was assassinated or that human beings have been cloned.

Fully a quarter believe the 9/11 terror attacks were a U.S. government conspiracy.

Fewer believed that lotteries are rigged (20 per cent), Osama Bin Laden is still alive (13 per cent), the moon landings were a hoax (10 per cent), Elvis is still alive (five per cent) or that dinosaurs never existed (four per cent.)

A parallel poll of Albertans also placed UFOs and a suppressed cancer cure atop the list but at lower numbers of 45 and 36 per cent, respectively.

The poll also asked questions about April Fool’s Day and found 55 per cent in B.C. have played a prank on someone on that day, while 71 per cent report being a victim.