Although an enormous variety of alien life forms have been reported by witnesses over the decades since the late 1940s- everything from hairy dwarfs to disembodies brains to one-legged ‘robots’ with tentacles- the Grey has become be far the most commonly reported, and is now as powerful a cultural icon as the flying saucer itself. There seem to be a number of different types of Grey, and abductees and abduction researchers have tried to fit them into categories, based on their reported behaviour.
The commonly reported types are the small Greys, usually about three and a half to four feet tall, and with pasty grey or grey-white skin. They have extremely spindly limbs and torsos; some percipients have described an apparent lack of elbow and knee joints, while others have reported the impression that the physiological make-up of these being is completely undifferentiated- that is, every part of their bodies is made of the same material, as if it had been cut out of dough. Their heads are disproportionately large and hairless, with no nose to speak of (Although a sub-group is alleged to have large noses). Likewise, the ears are vestigial or non-existent and the mouths are usually described as being no more than a narrow slit. By far the most striking feature of these entities is the eyes, which are almost invariably described as being enormous, almond-shaped and jet-black. It seems that the eyes are the primary channels of communication between the Greys and their percipients (See Abduction). These short Greys have been described as workers; they seem to have no individuality, and have been likened to an insect hive.
The short Greys work in conjunction with another group of similar appearance, who have a tan coloured skin and are taller, usually about five feet in height. Abductees tend to assume that these beings are like doctors, since they supervise any physiological procedures that are performed. A third group of Greys are a little taller still, at about six feet- and are considered to be the leaders, or ‘officers’.
Finally, there is a kind of ‘supreme commander’, a very tall being (about seven feet), whose skin is described as either very dark or very pale, and who gives the impression of being female. This being almost always wears a cloak or veil.
The Greys are frequently described as being cold and uncaring towards the people they abduct. Some percipients have suggested that they have no emotions as we would understand the term, and this is why they are intensely curious about ours. Their home world is the subject of much debate, but is generally considered to be in the Zeta Reticuli star system, which is about 37 light years from Earth. There are two main reasons for the Zeta Reticuli being heir putative home; firstly this was the main conclusion of Marjorie Fish, who examined the ‘star map’ drawn by Betty Hill after the famous abduction of herself and her Husband Barney; and secondly, it is claimed by Robert Lazar to be the home of the so-called extraterrestrial biological entities (EBEs) he has witnesses whilst working at S-4.
Although many abduction researchers claim that the similarity in reports of the Greys offers substantial (if not incontrovertible) evidence that alien beings are indeed routinely visiting Earth, other commentators have pointed to the fact this type of being was originally encountered in the United States, and the Greys are still much more often reported there than anywhere else. In addition, now that this type of entity has established itself in our iconography, Greys are being encountered more often in other parts of the world. This implies rather strongly than earlier reports (whether genuine or spurious) have influenced more recent ones, a process know as ‘cultural feedback’. (For an example of this, we can not e that after the release of Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, reports of creatures similar to those depicted in the film increased dramatically.)
Of course, we cannot be absolutely certain that Grey aliens are not really visiting our world. Nevertheless, their reported attributes and behaviour force us to consider alternative explanations for their presence among us.