Infobox Paranormalcreatures
Creature_Name = Greys

Image_Caption = An artist depiction of a Grey
Grouping = Extraterrestrial
Sub_Grouping =
AKA = Roswell Aliens,
Skrit Na,
Zeta Reticulian,
Country =
Region =
Habitat =
First_Reported = September 19, 1961
Last_Sighted = Reports ongoing.
Status = Unconfirmed

Greys is a term used to describe alleged intelligent, humanoid extraterrestrials that appear in claims of encounters with UFO-related phenomena, especially alien abductions. The study of these phenomena is considered pseudoscientific by mainstream scientists and as a result, Greys are often dismissed as being non-existent. Some have also criticized Greys as being too excessively anthropomorphic to be a likely candidate for real extraterrestrial life forms.

As a result of abduction reports from alleged eye witnesses and circulating urban legends, Greys hold a prominent place in popular culture. Reports of close encounters of the third kind and alien abductions involving Grey-type beings continue to be made in many countries although many ufologists still search for physical evidence of their existence.


In reports from alleged eye witnesses, Greys are described as diminutive beings which, while appearing very human-like, seem to lack or possess reduced forms of human organs and anatomical components. Individual Greys are said to appear very uniform compared to the wide range of variation in humans. Some commentators have expressed the opinion that their anatomy is more consistent with robots or cyborgs than with actual living organisms.


According to reports, Greys come in two distinct morphs that differ in height.Jacobs, David M. "Aliens and Hybrids." In: Pritchard, Andrea & Pritchard, David E. & Mack, John E. & Kasey, Pam & Yapp, Claudia. "Alien Discussions: Proceedings of the Abduction Study Conference". Cambridge: North Cambridge Press. Pp. 86-90.] Abductees say that they recognize the leader of their abductors by its "demeanor." Their increased authority, height, and apparently more complex psychology have caused some abduction researchers to wonder if the taller morph is the only "Grey" type to be biologically alive and if the shorter "form" could be their artificially constructed robot or cyborg servants.


Grey is the most commonly reported skin colour, but some reports have given variant skin colors like blue-grey, green-grey, or purple-grey. The skin is described as being extremely smooth, almost as if made of an artificial material like rubber or plastic. Greys are not commonly reported to have scars, warts or any other common human skin disfigurations although it is commonly reported that they are susceptible to bacterial infection on Earth.Fact|date=September 2008

Head and features

The head of a Grey is reportedly human-like, although much larger when compared to the body, and usually said to lack hair or to have only a thin fuzz. The skull has different proportions from the human. Under the head, the neck seems thin and lacking an adam's apple or any obvious musculature. Many abductee claimants report having the impression that it seems too small to support such a large head. External ears, if present at all, are greatly reduced. The mouth is narrow and lipless, often described as a "slit" and is rarely reported to be opened, but when it is, the witness usually reports a lack of teeth.

The eyes are described as larger than those of a human and often as almond or tear-drop shaped. They are frequently a focal point of abduction reports. The eyes are all black, lacking obvious irises and sclerae, lacking also lids, brows and lashes, although sometimes members of the taller type of Grey is reported with bony ridges above or below the eye. The eyes do not seem to move or focus in any observable way. Beliefs about Greys' eyes seem to be related to their notional telepathic abilities. When conducting mental procedures, a Grey will often be staring into the eyes of an abductee. This staring seems to induce hallucinogenic states or directly provoke different emotions.Jacobs, David M. "Subsequent Procedures." In: Pritchard, Andrea & Pritchard, David E. & Mack, John E. & Kasey, Pam & Yapp, Claudia. "Alien Discussions: Proceedings of the Abduction Study Conference". Cambridge: North Cambridge Press. Pp. 64-68.]


Their bodies are usually described as elongated and lacking in muscular definition. Similarly, no skeletal structure is seen on a Grey the way it would be for a human of thin build. The chest is so small that it seems difficult to imagine lungs of the human sort being present. Although in abduction reports claimants often say that the Grey was only inches from their face during the staring "mindscan" procedure, they do not subsequently report feeling breath or seeing the Grey's chest move from breathing.

Their legs are described as shorter and jointed differently than one would expect in a human, giving them an apparently awkward gait.Fact|date=June 2008 Their limbs are described as proportionally different than a human's; their humerus and thighs are the same lengths as their fore-arms and shins, respectively. Alleged witnesses often report that the Greys' arms reach down to their kneesFact|date=June 2008. The Gray analog to buttocks is a mere ridge of tissue. No anal opening is present.

Reports differ on the number of fingers on the hand, descriptions of the number of fingers range from a human-like five or lesser quantities of 3-4.Fact|date=June 2008 Sometimes Greys are reported to lack opposable thumbs.Fact|date=June 2008


During the early 1980s Greys were linked to the alleged crash landing of a flying saucer in Roswell New Mexico, in 1947, by a number of publications which contained statements from witnesses who claimed to have seen the U.S. military handling a number of unusually proportioned, bald, child-sized corpses. The witnesses claimed that the corpses had over-sized heads and slanted eyes—but scant other facial features—during and after the incident. [cite book| last = Berlitz| first = Charles| authorlink = | coauthors = Moore William | title = The Roswell Incident|date=1980| edition = 1st| publisher = Grosset & Dunlap| id = ISBN 0-448-21199-8]

In 1987 popular novelist Whitley Strieber published the book "Communion", in which he describes a number of close encounters he purports to have experienced with Greys and other extraterrestrial beings. The book became a "New York Times" bestseller, and a film adaption starring Christopher Walken was released in 1989.

1990-present day

During the 1990s, popular culture began to increasingly link Greys to a number of Military-industrial complex/New World Order conspiracy theories. [ [ Grey Aliens Bite The Dust] ]

A well known example of this was the FOX television series "The X-Files", which first aired in 1993. It combined the quest to find proof of the existence of Grey-like extraterrestrials with a number of UFO conspiracy theory subplots, in order to form its primary story arc. Other notable examples include "Dark Skies"; first broadcast in 1996, which expanded upon the MJ-12 conspiracy, and "Stargate SG-1" which in the 1998 episode "Thor's Chariot" introduced the Asgard, a race of beneficent Greys who visited ancient Earth masquerading as characters from Norse Mythology.

In 1995 film maker Ray Santilli claimed to have obtained 22 reels of 16mm film that depicted the autopsy of a "real" Grey that was said to have been recovered from the site of the 1947 incident in Roswell, New Mexico. [cite journal| last = Wingfield| first = George| authorlink = | coauthors = | title = The "Roswell" Film Footage | journal = Flying Saucer Review| volume = 20| issue = 2 |date=1995 ] imdb title|id=0163521|title=Alien Autopsy: (Fact or Fiction?) ] However, in 2006 Santilli announced that the film was not original, but was instead a "reconstruction" created after the original film was found to have degraded. He maintained that a real Grey had been found and autopsied on camera in 1947, and that the footage released to the public contained a percentage of that original footage, but he was not able to say what that percentage was. This incident became the subject of the British comedy film "Alien Autopsy", starring popular television presenters Ant & Dec.cite news
last =
first =
coauthors =
title = Eamonn Investigates: Alien Autopsy
publisher = British Sky Broadcasting
] [cite journal
last = Clarke
first = David
title = Alien Autopsy
journal = Fortean Times
issue = 210
publisher = Dennis Publishing Ltd
url =
doi =
id = ISSN 0308-5899
accessdate =
unused_data = |coauthors Roberts, Andy


Polling Data

In recent years, public opinion polls in the United States have indicated wide public belief that aliens have visited Earth. Grey aliens are the most commonly cited. According to Dr. Steven Greer, head of CSETI, over 400 "government, military, and intelligence community witnesses" have offered testimony to the existence of aliens and UFO and/or efforts to cover up their existence. [ The Disclosure Project] ] Greys make up approximately 75 percent of all aliens reported in the United States, 20 percent of all aliens reported in Continental Europe, and 12 percent of all aliens reported in Great Britain. [cite book| last = Bryan
first = C.D.B| title = Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind|date=1995| publisher = Alfred A. Knopf, Inc| id = ISBN B000I1AFBA

Psychocultural Expression of Intelligence

Neurologist Dr. Steven Novella argues that the idea is a byproduct of the human imagination, with the Greys' most distinctive features representing everything that modern humans traditionally link with intelligence. "The aliens, however, do not just appear as humans, they appear like humans with those traits we psychologically associate with intelligence." Novella says that if one were to plot the physical differences between an ape and a human, and then apply these differences directly to a human model, the resulting human would strongly resemble a Grey. [cite web| last = Novella
first = Steven| title = The Psychocultural Hypothesis| work =| publisher = The New England Skeptical Society|date=2001-12-01
url =| accessdate = 2006-10-01

The "Mother Hypothesis"

In vol. 11 issue 4 of Skeptic magazine, Frederick V. Malmstrom presents his hypothesis that Greys are actually residual memories of early childhood development. Malmstrom reconstructs the face of a Grey through scientifically guided transformation of a mother's face based on our best understanding of early childhood sensation and perception. Malmstrom's study is particularly useful in explaining the ubiquity of Greys, the intense visceral response many people experience when presented an image of a Grey, and the ease of regression hypnosis and recovered memory therapy in "recovering" memories of alien abduction experiences, along with their common themes. [cite web| last = Malmstrom
first = Frederick| title = Close Encounters of the Facial Kind: Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn Facial Recognition Template?| work = Skeptic| publisher = The Skeptics Society|date=2005
url =| accessdate = 2008-09-18

Evolutionary Feasibility

According to English reproductive biologist Jack Cohen, the typical image of a Grey, given that it would have evolved on a world with different environmental and ecological conditions from Earth, is too physiologically similar to a human to be credible as a representation of an alien. cite book| last = Cohen| first = Jack| authorlink =| coauthors = Stewart, Ian| title = Evolving the Alien|date=2002-02-07| edition = 1st| publisher = Ebury Press| id = ISBN 0-09-187927-2]

Government Disinformation

Writers have suggested that Greys represent part of a government-led disinformation or plausible deniability campaign,cite book | last = Clary | first = David A | title = Before and After Roswell |date= 2000 | publisher = Xlibris Corporation | id = ISBN 0-7388-4106-4 ] or that they are a product of Government mind control experiments. [cite book
last = Cannon
first = Martin
title = The Controllers
] [cite book
last = Constantine
first = Alex
title = Psychic Dictatorship in the U.S.A.
publisher = Feral House
id = ISBN 0-922915-28-8

Influence in popular culture

Greys are a popular theme in science fiction and have either appeared directly, or acted as a source of inspiration, in a number of different franchises. Examples within television series include, a race known as the A to be the source of energy and antigravity in the extraterrestrial spacecrafts that he was tasked with reverse-engineering at the S4 base.

Stereotypical designs of the Grey race have been featured in video game media as well, examples of this include an extraterrestrial race known as the Sectoids which make their appearance in "", other examples have them performing the role of primary antagonists in the game "Area 51", where they are depicted practicing several behaviors related to popular belief such as forming crop circles and mutilating cattle. In Nintendo 64 game "Perfect Dark", the Grey race of aliens is also featured, called Maian in this game. Of the two alien races present in the game, the Maians are good-natured towards humankind and one of them, who calls himself Elvis, helps out the protagonist, Joanna Dark, in some missions (the other race, the belligerent, reptile-like Skedar, are the main antagonists of the game). On the other hand, in the Destroy All Humans games, the aliens play the protagonists of the game (though antagonists to the humans).The influence of the Greys as the most common form of extraterrestrial life depicted in popular culture has led to some indirect references, including the trophies given in the Spacey Awards which are silver busts in the form of a Grey's head. Greys also appear in the cyberpunk shooter Deus Ex, although it is later revealed that they are simply clones created from genetically altered chimpanzee DNA. The comedy Scary Movie 3 also shows Greys as being the main extraterrestrials. The crystal skull in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is revealed to belong to Greys. Greys are one of the most recurring creatures in The X-Files television show, and the paranormal investigator, Agent Mulder, tries to uncover the truth behind them. They have even appeared as Deely bobbers.

See also

* Abduction phenomenon
* Extraterrestrial life
* Extraterrestrial life in popular culture
* List of alleged UFO-related extraterrestrials
* Little green men
* Zeta Reticuli
* Dr David Jacobs
* John Edward Mack
* Budd Hopkins


External links

* [ Skeptics Dictionary: Alien abduction]
* [ UFO occupants - grey and reptilian alien pictures]
* [ Burlington News about Aliens] - Has information on Greys
* [ Australian UFO Research Network]
* [ Alien Mind - a Primer, incl. info on Greys' alignment]
* [ International Centre for Abduction Research]

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