Please read my two introductory articles on UFOs and alien abduction:
In my previous articles, I mention the phenomenon of alien abduction, which I believe may be related to sleep paralysis or seeing into another dimension. I don’t rule out that these two things are related.
This week I would like to concentrate on a type of alien that over 50% of reported abductees or contactees claim to have seen. These aliens are known by the title of “The Greys”, so-called due to their skin colour. There are many theories about who they are, where they come from and what they want! As well as having a grey skin tone, they are also perceived as having large heads and big, black eyes.
I am interested in the human experience. Of course, I would also like to know what on earth contactees are experiencing. It didn’t take much reading to realise that the entire alien subject has evolved a mythology of its own, based very much upon what people think rather than what they know.
Having said that, mythology is always a subject I have been fascinated by and thoroughly enjoy reading. All mythology is based on acquired knowledge of some kind. It seems that aliens are the scientific age’s version of the modern faerytale, with many similarities, including things like abduction by small beings.
One of the first reported abduction by Greys was Betty and Barney Hill, although sceptics seem to believe they describe similar aliens to those in early science-fiction. For example, in 1893, H.G. Wells wrote Man of the Year Million in which he imagined humanity transformed into a race of grey-skinned beings, stunted with large heads. In 1895, he also wrote The Time Machine in which his fictional species, Morlocks, live underground in the year 802,701 CE. Wells describes them as having large eyes and with grey fur covering their body. He also describes a symbiotic relationship between the Morlocks and the Eloi, which reflect the relationship of the working class and the upper class in society.
Again, in 1901, Wells’ book The First Men in the Moon describes Selenites (great name – Selena was the Greek goddess of the moon!) as having grey skin, big heads and large black eyes. Another writer, Gustav Sandgren described the aliens (in 1933) as short, with big, bald heads, strong, square foreheads, very small noses and mouths and weak chins. Their eyes were large and dark. Their clothes were grey. You can begin to perhaps see that this description may have been a recurring motif in early science fiction. Though, we cannot of course rule out why Wells decided to describe aliens this way… Did he have first-hand experience; hear of someone else’s close encounter or just have a very vivid writer’s imagination?
After her close encounter in 1961, Betty Hill later had dreams in which she and her husband were abducted and taken aboard a spacecraft. In these dreams, she was examined and later, after asking the alien “leader” where he was from, she was shown a star chart. Following hypnosis, under the guidance of a Doctor Benjamin Simon of Boston (a referral from Barney’s psychiatrist Doctor Stephens), Betty was given the post hypnotic suggestion that she could draw the star chart she had been shown, which she did, later drawing the chart as she remembered it. She said she was told solid lines linking stars were trade routes and dotted lines were to less-travelled stars. The map was identified as being from the view point of Zeta Reticuli, the double star. However, other theories have emerged including that it is completely random or that it’s very similar to our own solar system. Prior to the hypnosis sessions there were several sci-fi programmes in which the starring aliens were very similar to the descriptions of those given by the Hills under hypnosis. Later, Doctor Simon wrote an article about the Hills. He concluded that the case was a “singular psychological aberration”. Even so, mythologically, the Greys became known as Zeta Reticulans.
Prior to Betty and Barney Hill’s experience, Greys were also linked with the Roswell crash (1947). A number of statements, from individuals claiming to have seen unusual, bald and small humanoids being taken from the crash site, appeared in a few publications in the 1980s. These figures have since been dismissed by authorities as being test dummies.
Several later science fiction films had Greys as the starring aliens, such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Communion (1989). In the 1990s, they appeared in several TV programmes such as The X Files, Dark Skies, Stargate SG-1 (The Asgard) and Babylon 5 (The Vree).
In 1995, Ray Santilli claimed he had film of an alien autopsy. Santilli said it was one of the Roswell Greys from 1947 that was shown in the footage. Impressively filmed, he later admitted that it was a “reconstruction” of events (aka a hoax). No real evidence was found, or has ever been found.
In 2011, a film called Paul showed a Grey-like alien in the starring role. It is definitely worth watching, not only for the hilarious Simon Pegg, but also the general comical script. It really is a very enjoyable film.
As I mentioned at the start, Greys are one of the most commonly reported aliens in abduction experiences. They make up approximately 50 percent in Australia, 43 percent in the United States, 90 percent in Canada, 67 percent in Brazil, 20 percent in Continental Europe and approximately 12 percent in the United Kingdom. However, they are not always reported to actually be grey in colour. They may be grey with tinges of blue, green or purple, or a different colour entirely.
Abduction experiences are often extremely traumatic (although not always), sometimes involving sexual assault and painful, terrifying medical examinations. Regardless of your views on this subject, and regardless of the truth behind abduction experiences, there is no doubt in my mind (I say this as someone who has professional insight of trauma, stress and anxiety) that if someone has experienced a negative alien abduction phenomenon they have lived through a completely terrifying and traumatic event. Quite often it changes them and their lives forever. I do not believe they are making it up or fantasising. It is real to them, and that makes it a real event. That is a fair enough statement. What is entirely debatable is what that event actually is. This is a grey area indeed…
Many theories exist as to what Greys are, if they are not in fact aliens, and it’s important to at least consider these possibilities. It’s not easy to come to terms with something which seems completely solid and 3 dimensional, being a part of the human imagination, as Neurologist Doctor Steven Novella thinks. He poses the possibility that our imagination conjurs up an image of what we believe an intelligent being from another planet would look like. In other words, we see what we expect to see. Given the right conditions, or the right frame of mind, it is not impossible that some of these experiences are projections of our imagination. People often hate to think of this idea, but I would seriously consider it if the experience has taken place when you are in bed. It is common for people to imagine they are awake when, in fact, they have entered a certain phase of sleep – one in which unusual experiences can happen e.g. out of body/astral projection dreams and such like. These are both fascinating and incredible to experience, and certainly do not mean that you have lost your mind. However, it is experienced better if you let go of fear (both in the dream and in your life) and become empowered. One possibility, therefore, is that the Greys represent fears – perhaps of sex or medical procedures (which seem to be the two most common abduction themes).
Another theory is that the image of the Grey is based on memories of early childhood, and the perception we have of our care-givers as we try to understand the world we are introduced to as a baby. Most baby memories are lost within our amazing brains, but they must be in there somewhere, surely. Imagine you are a new born child and the first people you see are all those hospital staff. You have no idea what is going on as they poke and prod you. I think we probably all found that a bit traumatic. Does that initial trauma stay with some people?
It has also been conjectured that the physical similarities are due to the E.T.s having had some kind of evolutionary influence on primates in the distant past, i.e. the theory used in Quatermass and the Pit. In other words, when and how did we evolve from ape to man…?
There are also several theories as to why they might be visiting earth by those who believe they are alien in nature. Theories such as genetic engineering, cross-breeding/hybridisation and experimentation (i.e. humans are the Grey equivalent to lab rats) have also been put forward, as have many conspiracy theories e.g. government disinformation or mind-control experiments.
What do you think? Who are the Greys, in your opinion? Where do you think they are from, and what do you think they want….? I look forward to hearing your views on the subject. Leave a comment!
Until next time. Your friend, A.D.
Berlitz, Charles; Moore William (1980). The Roswell Incident (1st ed.). Grosset & Dunlap. ISBN 0-448-21199-8.
Bryan, C.D.B (1995). Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. ISBN 0-679-42975-1. ISBN B000I1AFBA.
Novella, Dr. Steven (2000-10). “UFOs: The Psychocultural Hypothesis”. The New England Skeptical Society. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
Malmstrom, Frederick (2005). “Close Encounters of the Facial Kind: Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn Facial Recognition Template?”. Skeptic. The Skeptics Society. Retrieved 2008-09-18