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.
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.
Their legs are described as shorter and jointed differently than one would expect in a human, giving them an apparently awkward gait. 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 knees. 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. Sometimes Greys are reported to lack opposable thumbs.
|Percentage of Abduction Reports Featuring Greys by Country|
|Country||Grey Reports||Other Types|
|Mainland Western Europe||48%||52%|
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.
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.
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. 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.
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 X-COM: UFO Defense, 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.