Consider, for the moment, that they are real. Not as apparitions, tulpas, extradimensional creatures or modern myth-making in action, hand-crafted by bad dreams inspired by mass media and then deepened and expanded through the process of incompetent hypnosis and mutual confabulation. Rather, let us consider that they are physical, extraterrestrial beings.
Well, it seems to me that their bodies should betray the conditions that shaped them, suggest what analog we might have to them in the earthly animal kingdom, and through observing their form, behavior, interactions and other such things we should gain better insight into them in general.
Cambridge University paleontologist Simon Conway Morris argues that despite the diversity of life we find on our own planet alone, the presence of convergent evolution among the widely-separated branches on the tree of life reveal that certain outcomes seem likely and even inevitable because they serve as effective means of adaptation. They serve as effective tools in a way, and they are tools suitable to a limited type of environment, behavior, diet. Gills on a creature would imply they live underwater. No eyes or analog may suggest they are subterranean. Sharp teeth would imply anything but a vegetarian diet.
In a similar vein, various characteristics of the creatures known as the Gray aliens might lead one to suspect that they are the nymph order in a species of creature that seems to constitute a nocturnal, telepathic, technologically-advanced eusocial insect species that evolved on a high-oxygen, low-gravity land planet. And now that I have turned all eyes away due to the apparent level of absurdity inherent in the previous sentence, allow me to share with you why my perhaps-malfunctioning mind has led me to this suspicion.
Their large, black eyes would at first seem to imply that they need to pick up more light than we do. Relative, of course, to our present, geocentric standpoint, this could in turn imply their planet resides farther from their star, their planet is larger, or for whatever reason has shorter daytime hours. As a survival strategy they have benefited from their big eyes being able to pick up a wider range or merely different portion of the visual spectrum. In tandem with the binocular vision, this may imply that the Grays evolved from a nocturnal predatory creature.
What type of creature, however? Despite their humanoid form, the Gray creatures encountered in alien abduction cases seem to be otherwise quite different from us. They have neither breasts to bear milk nor lips with which to suckle, and this, along with their narrow emotional spectrum, seem to indicate that whatever type of organism they prove to be, they are certainly not mammalian. As suggested by Dr. Robert Sarbacher, perhaps they are insects. That alone may provide sufficient explanation for the sizeable peepers. This would also explain their lack of ears, as they would instead have the membrane-secured air sacs known as typanal organs, this serving is the insect correlate.
The insect idea does not seem to offer an explanation for the form of the body, but the varying potential environments may. Despite the need for the “goldilocks” habitable zone around the star, it does not presume that a life-giving star would have to be like our star, that a life-bearing planet must be a carbon copy of earth. Instead, the Zone of the “Just Right” around a star depends on the type and size of the star relative to the proximity, type and size of the life-planet. This zone we imagine is always defined by conditions we are familiar with here on earth, however, though for all we know these specific conditions may in fact be unimportant to life elsewhere in the cosmos. Even here on earth, extremeophiles living in their black-or-white environments would seem to imply that life may develop, adapt, even thrive in conditions we, in our continuous unconscious indecent activity of “anthropomorphobating,” would surely expect to find lifeless.
The quest for explanation, rather than defense, stretches further than the nauseating “argument from ignorance” I just fashioned above, however. According to David Aguilar in the third episode in the third season of UFO Hunters, the tall, thin, spindly bodies and proportionally large craniums implies they come from a planet with less gravity than earth, where it would be easier to walk upright and where such thin bodies would be in a position where they would be able of propping up those gargantuan gourds. To evolve a body that does not require muscle tone or bone density in such a low-gravity environment would be advantageous as well, as it would free them from the extreme degrees of exercise that would otherwise be required.
In addition to this is the fact that the Grays fail to display any suggestion of having a bone structure. If they are insects, the lack of a flesh-sealed endoskeleton would make perfect sense. Rather than bones and skin, an insect has an exoskeleton composed of three layers: the basement membrane, the epidermis, and the outermost layer, known as the integument. In larval form, the integument is a hard, lightweight outer cuticle, which is white, pliable and elastic. According to Jacobs, the “skin” of the small Grays bears “a soft rubbery or plastic quality,” which appears to match up quite well. The integument undergoes a process called sclerotization in insect adults in which it darkens and toughens, though remains flexible, perhaps corresponding to the “rough, leathery feel” of the Taller Gray. Sometimes the Taller Beings are also described as having wrinkles; similarly, with some spiders, a new exoskeleton is often wrinkled as the old exoskeleton could not provide enough space for the larger replacement growing beneath it.
While identical in form save for the height difference in hierarchy, many of the Grays, despite their popular name, come in different colors. Pitch black, pale white, and in some cases even blue — at least according to early results of cross-analysis of abduction reports from MUFON’s Abduction Transcription Project. One means of natural camouflage the aliens may share with some species of the earthly Mantis is the ability to adapt the color of their exoskeleton to their surroundings. Called ‘fire melanism’, such Mantis species have the capability to change the color of their exoskeleton after their next molt so that, for instance, they can adapt to the black color of scorched earth rather than remaining green, which served as sufficient camouflage in their formerly grassy habitat. The Transcription Project also revealed that the rooms observed by abductees when aboard the craft were white, gray and, more rarely, black.
Another characteristic that the insect interpretation might explain is their apparent lack of breathing. Instead of using lungs, insects take in oxygen through tiny holes in the sides of their exoskeletons known as spiracles, which open and close as the abdominal muscles expand and contract. Due to the characteristics which imply they are insects despite their large size, they would have to come from a planet with a higher oxygen content than the earth, however, as the upper limit on the body size of an insect is dictated by the degree of oxygen in the atmosphere due to the limitations of the spiracle form of breathing. The current oxygen composition of the earth’s atmosphere presently rests at around 21% and could not support insects the size of the Grays. In earth’s past, however, Lady Gaea was a real airhead. During the Carboniferous period, some 359.2 million years ago, the earth’s peak oxygen content came to be roughly 35%, permitting gigantism for both the amphibians and arthropods, with the largest insects being about a foot and a half long.
A planet bearing a high oxygen content and low gravity, however, would seem to provide the necessary conditions for the Grays to evolve. This does not help to explain how they can exist within the atmosphere and gravity of earth for at least a given amount of time, during which they have both amazing strength and evidently no problem bolting down hallways at record speed. The heightened gravity and lowered oxygen, one would think, would have to be an obstacle for such an insect species. It is known that by closing their spiracles and trapping air some insects can exist in an underwater environment for extensive periods; by an analogous process, perhaps the aliens can exist for extensive periods in an environment of depleted oxygen by “holding their breath.” That still fails to explain their capacity to move so swiftly and have such strength, however, and brings us back to the other issue that would come with living in a low-gravity environment: muscles must be exercised. Use it or lose it.
That they have an endoskeleton rather than skin could answer other perplexing questions, however. For instance, their source of sustenance, means of consumption and process of eliminating waste at first appears to be an unknown. There have been no reports of aliens having to leave to take a leak or a shit. They lack anuses and butt cheeks, however, so perhaps this is for food reason. Neither has anyone has ever seen them eating or drinking to my knowledge. Those are not functional mouths. There are no visible jaws. No lips, teeth or tongues. No varying degree of tummy protrusion, nor waistline to look below.
However humanoid they may be, they are not at all similar to our mammalian physiology. The typical insect mouth-parts are also lacking on the Gray, however. Antennae, the appendages that serve as the typical insect correlate to the sense of taste and smell, are absent as well. Admittedly, smell is indirectly and more weakly related to food, as it may also serve to pick up pheromones and so be related to mating — for that purpose alone it may have been selected for through the process of evolution given the fairly central survival advantage of getting laid and bear no relation to eating in such a scenario, at least in the sense of literal food. Still, one must admit that sensing pheromones would seem rather ludicrous given the apparent lack of a puckered snuggle-crevice or germ-line-jettisoning goods to back up the olfactory advertisement. Grays lack any visible sex organs. Clearly, however, taste is dead central to eating. And there have been no reports of them eating with their ill-equipped mouths, at least of which I am aware.
There have, however, been peculiar reports regarding them entirely submerged in tanks of liquid without any evident breathing apparatus, like enduring, full-body baptisms. Many abductees have also described being thrown into vats of liquid, as David Jacobs describes in his book Secret Life. In one man’s experience (though not from Jacob’s book), he described that he could breathe in the liquid, swallow it while he was submerged and he would eat it and piss it out. He described, in other words, the fluids capacity to serve as a self-recyclable substitute for air and sustenance. In addition, alien-looking young are described as being “painted” with a substance as a form of nursing.
This again turns attention to the exoskeleton. Akin to an insect’s spiracles, every part of a plant respires or “breathes” through microscopic pores, which allow it to inhale and exhale in a process known as diffusion. In addition to breathing, however, plants also use these pores to acquire the ingredients necessary to manufacture their own food. Chlorophyll, which gives plants their green color, collects sunlight and carbon dioxide from the leaves as well as the water, nutrients and minerals that the roots have collected from the soil. From these ingredients the chlorophyll, through a process known as photosynthesis, whips up some simple sugars to serve as sustenance and poops the waste product, oxygen, out through its pores and into the air. Perhaps excreting waste through their exoskeletons is the sole avenue of dispelling waste for aliens void of anuses, albeit in the fart-reminiscent fashion of diffusing that waste as a gas through their spiracles.
An obvious reason to speculate that the Grays are insects, however, is given the nature of their ultimate authorities. At the bottom of the chain of command are the Small Grays, which certainly constitute the workers, and overseeing and directing them are the Tall Grays. They step in to perform more specialized procedures, such as those having to do with the sexual organs and the probing Mindscan telepathy preformed on the abductee. The female Tall Beings perform all the activities the males do, and in addition tend to the children in the nurseries. Above the Tall Gray presides the Mantis beings, often additionally distinguished by wearing a cloak or a robe. It is they who appear to be the ultimate puppet masters, pulling all the strings.
These Mantis beings, as I’ve chosen to call them, are creatures that often remind abductees of seven-foot-tall preying mantises, less often a giant grasshopper or ant. Aside from all sharing the characteristics of being insects, mantises are often mistaken for grasshoppers. In addition, while the young mantis often appears as merely a mini-me of the adult version, in some species the young nymphs appear as dark ants and only take on the form of the adult mantises slowly, throughout a series of molts. Also relevant is the fact that while resembling the Mantis species we are familiar with here on earth, descriptions and drawings of these creatures make it clear that with their spindly bodies and huge, wrap-around eyes that they also share characteristics with both the Taller Grays and the Smaller Grays.
Insects develop in one of two styles. Holometabolous insects develop through “complete metamorphosis” consisting of four stages: egg, larval stage, the inactive state called either pupa or chrysalis, and finally the adult stage known as imago. Hemimetabolous insects develop through three states of “incomplete metamorphosis” in which they molt and emerge in their new skin and size, perhaps even a new form. The Mantis species we know of are hemimetabolous, which is to say that they are first an egg, then a nymph, and finally an imago. During the nymph stage, however, they undergo stages of gradual metamorphosis referred to as instars. They dawn between each molt until sexual maturity, never entering a pupil stage. Nymphs are normally similar to the adults save for their size, their absence of genitalia and, in some species, their color and the absence of wings. In some species, however, the nymphs are morphologically distinct from adults, appearing similar to ants.
From the abduction literature, it appears to me there are three distinct orders in alien society: the small grays, the tall grays and the mantis. The three orders in the alien hierarchy are distinguished by morphology. All orders are distinguished by height. The four orders, from bottom to the top, show that each is characterized not only by heightened social rank and physical form but also the increased degree of personal identity, the further specialization in tasks, the greater development and use of telepathy. This implies to me that they are the same species, merely at different stages of development. If they are indeed an insect species, these three stages would imply that, like the Mantis species we know, they develop through the triple-staged incomplete metamorphosis.
Even in the Grays there is, despite the lack of genitalia, the strong sense of a gender. Both female and male genders have been encountered at every caste, including the mantis levels. If it is not mere projection on the part of the abductee, it might stem from the fact that while still at the stage of the Grays they cannot reproduce as they have not yet developed the plumbing required, that sex is already determined and plays a role in their neurology, if nothing else, and so is consequently conveyed in their telepathy.
All known species of Mantis are solitary insects, however, and this would certainly constitute a eusocial insect species, as they bear the three characteristics of eusociality: a caste system, a group rather than parental rearing of offspring, and an overlap in the generations that allows for the elder generation to educate the younger. The alien society displays all three.
An insect colony divides labor according to four castes or less, depending on the particular species. The top two castes are reproductive castes, composed of the Gynes or queens and the Drones or kings. The bottom two castes are comprised of the sterile Workers, who perform the labor, and Soldiers, involved in defending the colony against enemies. An insect colony requires some means of communication. One generation educating another would appear to involve both observation for mimicry and communication, which typically involves pheromones or, as in the case with honey bees, a symbolic dance language. Rather than communicating by means of odor and movements, however, the aliens appear to rely on telepathy as their main mode of communication.
These four castes are further distinguished in one two fashions. They can be distinguished by polyphenism, which is to say with respect to their morphology, and so inevitably die in the caste they entered at birth. Alternatively, the castes can instead bear age polytheism, where the elder generation of the worker caste educates the younger and duties are defined in accordance with age.
The Mantis species we know of undergo incomplete metamorphosis, however, so their morphology changes as they grow. What style, then, would they adopt or evolve? Judging from abduction reports, the alien mantises appear to oversee, educate, and intervene in the duties being carried out by the tall grays, each of which in turn oversee, educate, and intervene in the duties being carried out by their group of small grays. This would imply the education culminates in a graduation, making it distinct from the Hindu-like quality of polyphenism. In other words, their species might organize their society by age, with the parallel morphological distinction only incidental.
The Grays are a worker cast of nymphs, with the Tall Grays representing some later instar of the nymph as a lead worker and the Mantis, of course, emerging as the ultimate imago on the uppermost hierarchal level of an advanced telepathic and technologically-equipped eusocial insect species.