Grey Aliens in Pop Culture

The four-feet tall, grey colored, bug-eyed creatures have gained a high position in pop culture over the years, from conspiracy theories to appearances in art, movies and much more.

Important question: how many of you remember Roswell? The town in the city of New Mexico made a name for itself in 1947 when there was a claim of an alien spacecraft to have crashed in a large field. Let’s keep this to being a rumour because we are not really sure what happened there. There have been huge cover ups of the crash site for no specific reason, with multiple images leaked from various sources, not necessarily genuine. The photos mainly showed typical type of ‘alien‘ creatures in them. In truth, we actually have no clue. But that doesn’t cover up the image of the somewhat 4-foot tall alien creature lying on an operation table, injured, and well, humanoid.

Did you know that in 1995, an Alien Autopsy video was actually aired on television??? 33 countries and more than 10 million people watched this alien incident with their own eyes. The Roswell UFO Incident was the beginning of something more than that. People started reporting alien sightings, alien abductions, with as high as 73% of those people claiming they were grey aliens according to journalist and author  C. D. B. Bryan.

One particular incident was the abduction of Barney and Betty Hill for two days in the September of 1961 in a rural part of New Hampshire. The incident was described with great clarity – Barney and Betty were driving down to a vacation at Niagara Falls in Montreal from Portsmouth, when Betty noticed a light in the sky. What Barney also thought was a plane was not, as it changed direction and movement rapidly (one of the key features of conspiracy theorists when identifying UFOs). 

A picture of Betty and Barney Hill from Wikipedia

They both watched in awe from their 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, and described the object to be round, almost like a pancake according to Barney. He then stepped out of the car with binoculars to take a closer look, but he was hinted by one out of 8-11 of them, to keep looking (as though telepathically?) at the aircraft. He realized they were going to be captured, and ran towards Betty saying so. The craft moved swiftly, and their bodies were suddenly experiencing a tingling sensation, after which they experienced what felt like an altered state of consciousness. There were loud sounds that echoed in the hills, sending them into and out of this altered state. They claimed to have travelled 35 miles (56 kilometers) south from their last location, but had no idea or memories of how they did it. Barney told  National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) that the beings were “not human”. This was one story that really drove aliens into a palatial setting in our minds. What could be seen as a recollection of that lost time, was Betty’s accounts of dreams for five days following the incident. She had a record of the vivid accounts which described, in great detail, a temporary loss of memory and consciousness. The dreams became an explanation to Betty for what had happened there. 

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The story doesn’t end there. You can catch up with the whole detailed account of Barney and Betty Hill online whenever you find the time! What we’re getting to is how this popularized grey aliens and their fitting description FOREVER! What you will find even more ridiculous is people contributing to Wikipedia, referring to Grey Aliens as Zeta Reticulans, Roswell Grays, or Grays. So let’s take a look at where we’ve seen their story taken from here. 

The Barney and Betty Hill story was taken to television and adapted for many shows, including an interview with Barney on their story in 1966 on an episode of TV series To Tell the Truth followed by features in Carl Sagan’s mini series Cosmos, one of the best science fiction works The X-Files, and many more. While this case is the most important one, it has also been countered by author Martin Kottmeyer (in Entirely Unpredisposed: The Cultural Background of UFO Reports) who said Barney would have seen the science fiction show The Outer Limits that aired around ten to twelve days before the incident. It was probably what helped him recall this idea of fiction in his hypnosis sessions.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Grey Aliens and UFOs have also gained a lot of popularity among the young and the curious. Aliens became a theme at psychedelic parties, and in street art and graffiti. You’d find an alien face with wraparound eyes somewhere in the corner of the street ever since their popularity. H.G. Wells himself made a popular theory or fictional description of how human beings would look eerily similar to greys in his book The Man of Year Million in 1893, way before all these sightings and claims. 

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) was where Steven Speilberg’s obsession also began! He also made the TV mini series Taken (The original one, for Liam Neeson fanbois) in 2002 which demonstrated the often described telepathic abilities. It was also when actor Dakota Fanning’s debut seemed to be just apt for roles around aliens in the science fiction universe!  Speilberg went on to make a popular adaptation of blood-thirsty aliens in War of the Worlds starring her too. 

A screenshot from TV series ‘Taken’ (2002)

Three seasons of the TV show Roswell aired in 1999, which doesn’t really have to do with this stuff! Project Blue Book was a classified US military project made to study unidentified flying objects or UFOs. There’s a 2019 TV show about it with 2 seasons about the cover ups and investigations that took place before the project was shelved. 

A still from Project Blue Book (2019)

In a very different world, Greys make an appearance in the Stargate franchise in Stargate SG-1 as Asgard. In British TV show Doctor Who, those known as The Silence are also grey aliens who have been living inside the earth underneath us. There’s been quite a bit of theorizing this concept before it made its appearance in the show. However, they’re a bit more modern here and you will even find them suited up! 

The Silence from Doctor Who

American TV show American Dad! created by Seth McFarlane and gang also has the character of Roger, who resembles a Grey in every sense except for the eyes. Let’s not forget appearances in the dramatic Mel Gibson starrer Signs in 2002, the 2011 comedy Paul, and all the parodies in the Scary Movie franchise. Aliens pissing through their fingers is something else! The 2015 comedy TV series People of Earth also goes with the typical grey alien look for character Jeff the Grey. The show is a funny take on an alien abduction support group! 

Jeff the Grey from People of Earth (2016-17)

Something better prove or disprove their existence already! Safe to say, human beings really have an obsession for things that are humanoid, an attraction to give things human qualities. Watch some of these shows while you’re also lost in ambiguity!

 

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Written By

A singer, rapper and musician from Mumbai, India and host at Ticket Fairy (India), I've worked in the music business for over 7 years now, specialising in music marketing, public relations, social media, event management, hospitality and stage management.

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