The Anomalist


Part One

By Bernie O'Connor, CFGD
Director of Research and Founder*

The staff of the Anomalist would like to thank everyone who took part in the ANOMALIST SURVEY OF 2007, which was conducted in the beginning of March 2007. Your responses have helped us to better understand you and what type of content you are looking for when you visit our website. Best of all we gained some fascinating insights about what you believe in and don't believe in. Now we would like to share the results of our survey with you.

In total, 449 people took our survey within a span of just over two weeks. The average time spent completing the survey was 15 to 30 minutes. These averages of course, depended on the number of questions answered and how in-depth the respondent was in answering the essay or open-ended, voluntary information requested in some questions. As the results show, answer them you did!  Obviously you are all very passionate about being  Anomalists.

Our total single overall response count was 24,437; that's an average respondent rate of 407 people per question, out of 60 questions. As our base line, I am going to use the average figure of 407 in quoting percentages. Normally, I always allow for a plus or minus factor of 5% when reviewing the outcomes.

I was surprised at the level of involvement and the amount of information you shared with us via the survey. Usually any kind of consumer survey is much shorter and doesn't have the complexity of response options we requested. We used this approach because of the wide variety of content the Anomalist site features and the multi-layered, mixed-interest audience the site serves. In fact, out of 446 responses, 50.9% visit the site at least once a day, and 14.6% more visit it several times a day. As all good Anomalists will tell you, they may be very interested in only one type of anomalous phenomenon, but an exciting UFO report, a Bigfoot sighting, or a good old fashion Ghost story will make their day. Then throw in a good sized frog fall for good measure and we're in heaven.

The first question on our survey was designed to find out how Anomalists became Anomalists.  51.9% point to books as their first source of interest in the subject. An additional 35.7% claim a first-hand experience with something unusual for sparking their interest in the unknown.

Today, however, the internet and blogs (84.6%) have replaced books (only 8.5%) as your main source for anomalous information. Magazines weigh in at 2.9% and newsletters at a mere 0.4%. Back in the '50s, '60s and '70s, newsletters proliferated for this type of niche publishing: these fanzines have now pretty much all disappeared due to the ease, simplicity, connectivity, and immediacy of internet publishing.

Anomalists are avid readers and are still buying books. 52.3% claim libraries of less than 50 items, 27.7% of 50-100 items, and 15.8% have 100-1000 items. The heavyweights and undefeated champions, 4.3% have over 1000 items plus. (Not to elbow my way in here, but I fall into that category.) Now out of that sampling, 46.1% buy their books and magazines online, 32.3 % buy them at independent brick and mortar stores, followed by 21.6% who visit major chain stores to stock up their Fortean libraries.

Consequently if you are a book publisher, bookseller, or magazine publisher, the net is your storefront, especially for this specialized readership. One reason there has been a fall off in titles of this unique genre from the major publishing houses is that they do not know how to profitability reach this market segment.

Besides the getting information from the web, Anomalists are voracious magazine readers. Newsweek, Time, The New Yorker, Harpers, Atlantic Monthly, The Guardian, The Economist, Fate, Fortean Times, and Business Week were specifically mentioned. As for categories, science, computer / technology, and political magazines are also enjoyed by our audience. One thing they don't do however is subscribe to magazines. 32% stated they do not subscribe to any magazines at all.

53.7% are fascinated by anomalous reports and enjoy reading about them. 19.5% feel these events are very important to us in some way. 18.3% consider themselves serious researchers seeking the truth behind these experiences. Bringing up the rear are the pure hobbyists at 8.5%.

An outsider would guess that all those interested in such things as the Mothman and Nessie would be nothing but wide-eyed true believers. That's a phrase the mass media uses from time to time to describe these people and it's never in a good light. But the Anomalists who answered this survey are proving the media wrong; in reality, they are remarkably open-minded in their judgment of unusual events and their acceptance of a skeptical viewpoint.

61.4% try to keep an open mind when reviewing reports of unusual phenomena and 16.7% feel something unusual did happen but they are still skeptical of it. Additionally, 13.8% believe a good number of stories to be outright hoaxes. A mere 0.5% believes the claims outright.

When asked about the reliability of information about anomalous phenomena they find on the internet, 40.8% felt that only 10-30% is reliable and accurate. Another group, 29.7% felt that less than 10% is reliable and accurate. These figures reflect guarded enthusiasm at best. Considering that the internet is now this audience's prime source of information about such phenomenon, the reported events and eyewitness testimonies are being viewed carefully through judicious eyes.

So in essence, 92.2% of the respondents to this question have a skeptical nature. In other words, these events may have mundane explanations to them, and that would not surprise this audience.

More evidence of this open-minded nature comes in the responses to the statement: “I think skeptics should be given a fair chance to refute anomalous reports.” Again 97.3% agreed with this statement. So we really may really be skeptics at heart.

When asked if they would actively participate in a particular investigation, the following percentages said YES:

UFO Investigation - 71.1%
Ghost Hunt - 54.2%
A Bigfoot Stakeout - 50.5%
Sea Monster Expedition - 41.9%
Crop Circle investigation - 37.7%
A Sťance - 35.3%

This was a multiple answer question; so many respondents choose several options. Either way, an army of field investigators seem to be stand by, ready to go at a moment's notice.

Other X-treme sports, with this X being from the X-files,
Anomalists would like to partake in;
- 63.3% said they would go aboard a UFO
- 74.8% would stay overnight in a haunted house
- 57.2% would visit a Fairy realm

- 98.6% would not give up everything and join a group of people who claim contact with non-human intelligences.
- 91.2% would not actively take part in a hoax.
- 90.7% wouldn't summon a demon
- 56.2% wouldn't try to contact the dearly departed.

- 97.1% believe we have been experiencing anomalous phenomenon throughout all of Earth's history
- 85.6% believe ESP exits
- 78.9% believe they have experienced precognition
- 68.1% believe other dimensions exist and those intelligent beings exist there and can crossover and visit us
- 67.6% believe some people can foretell the future
- 62% feel animals are psychic
- 56.8% have experienced ESP
- 54.5% think the Ancient Astronaut theory is valid
- 49.8% have had out-of-the-body experiences
- 26.8% have experienced astral projection
- 20.5% can do remote viewing
- 12.5% have psychokinetic ability

One interesting result was the outcome of this question: Did aliens really crash in Roswell? 53% answered yes, 47% said no. I feel that this is essentially a 50/50 split decision and accurately mirror the prevailing social attitude towards the mystery of Roswell, both among the general public and Anomalists. My guess is that, in this particular case, slightly more Ufologists leaning towards the alien explanation of Roswell took the survey during this period.

The question, “Have people really been in contact with space people?” garnered a 52.2% no vote. This would appear to be at odds with the answer to the Roswell question.  But admittedly this too is a close call, with the yeas following right behind with a slight 47.8% minority.

In Part Two of this report, we examine how many of our readers have seen UFOs, spotted Bigfoot, or had a Ghostly encounter. Also, for the first time anywhere, we reveal what Anomalists really believe exists and what doesn't in the realm of the unknown. Go to Part 2

*Bernie O'Connor has a career that spans over 30 years working in Advertising, Marketing and Promotion Agencies in both New York and Pennsylvania as a Creative/Marketing Director.  He is also a Certified Focus Group Director and brings his research, analytical, and marketing skills to his new company,, an online survey company that specializes in creating targeted marketing programs via online surveys, polls, and quizzes.