Eusocial insect species are said to bear three defining characteristics: they organize their colonies into caste systems, they rear offspring as a colony rather than relegate them to parental care, and there is an overlap in generations that enable the elder to educate the younger as they assist the elder. All three also characterize what we have observed, through abduction cases, of the alien society.
An insect colony divides labor according to four castes or less, depending on the particular species. Assuming there are four, the top two castes are reproductive castes comprised of Gynes or Queens and the Drones or Kings, both of whom are morphologically distinct from the bottom two castes, who are sterile: the Workers, who perform the labor, and the Soldiers, who are involved in defending the colony against enemies. According to David Jacobs, judging from the mass of abduction reports there also appears to be at least four levels in the alien hierarchy.
The first two types, from the bottom up, are what Jacobs calls the Small and Tall Grays, which are essentially similar but nonetheless differ from one another in important ways. In general, the eyes of a Gray are large, black, almond-shaped and slanted and stare out at you from a bulbous cranium shaped like an inverted guitar pick with a more bulbous topside. The eyes never blink and occasionally a ridge is reported around them. The nose is nonexistent, save for perhaps a bump or, according to some accounts, two slight slits for nostrils. While the mouth has on occasion been reported open like an oval or perfect circle of black, showing no signs of teeth or a tongue, typically they are described as unwavering, lipless slits. There are no changes in the mouth or any facial features for emotional expression. The relatively large head is connected to a spindly humanoid body by means of a narrow, featureless neck. Their long, stick arms and legs bend at their so-called knees and elbows. They have three long fingers and an additional digit that seems to serve as an opposable thumb. Their feet have no toes. Nothing about them physically seems to indicate a sex, either: there are no genitals or secondary sexual characteristics.
The “skin” not only appears smooth and is utterly devoid of hairs, bumps, bruises, cuts or other imperfections, but it provides no evidence of underlying bones or musculature. No jawline, ribcage, or vertebrae. No biceps or butt cheeks — or butt holes, for that matter. No evidence of hips, stomach or genitals. Their is also no suggestion of them swallowing or, for that matter, breathing. They have none of the associated chest movements, for one thing; for another, while they often hold their faces very close to the abductee for their telepathic eye-gazing, abductees never report feeling their breath. Despite their name, the Grays can come in different colors, but that color is uniform throughout their body.
At the ass-end link in the chain of command are the Smalls, which certainly constitute the workers. Standing at three or four feet tall, they do the bulk of the routine procedures with speed and efficiency and are surprisingly strong. They are felt to be male or female. They submit to the authority of the Talls who, aside from standing up to a foot taller than his workers and wearing a distinguishing coat, robe or cape, essentially looks the same, though sometimes their faces are reported as wrinkly. They have greater telepathic ability and an increased degree of personal identity than their underlings. They also move more slowly, observing and directing at a distance until they move in to carry out the more specialized tasks, such as harvesting eggs and sperm and conducting deep, telepathically-penetrating eye-gazing. Female Talls bear all the distinguishing characteristics and responsibilities that the males do and also tend to the children in the nurseries.
Presiding over the Talls are even taller beings that Jacobs calls Instectalins; others call them Insectoids, Praying Mantises, Mantis beings or Mantids. These alien Mantodea have triangular-shaped heads with large, rounded, black, wrap-around eyes. A long, flexible neck attaches the head to an incredibly thin and bony-looking humanoid body that can stand over seven feet tall. They often have to bend their necks to avoid slamming their heads against the ceiling. Their long arms, complete with long fingers, are folded upward in a messiah pose reminiscent of the familiar, earthly mantis, though they lack the pinchers and antenna. Some describe them as graceful; others speak of fast, jerky movements. They are sensed to be either male or female and are often witnessed wearing long, dark cloaks or robes with a high collar.
They may emit a high-pitched clicking sound that can be expressed both audibly and telepathically. They also have the ability to spontaneously disappear or reappear, which some interpret as a materializing and dematerializing ability. Others posit they may be exhibiting a more advanced form of the camouflage utilized by our familiar, earth-dwelling mantids. My hypothesis is that this is merely another hypnotic manifestation of their advanced telepathic capabilities. Telepathy cannot explain their ability to walk through walls, however, as they have done in some bedroom encounters. In any case, their telepathic abilities and sense of personal identity is even greater than the Talls, and if they perform any tasks in the abduction scenario, they are the procedures usually relegated to the Talls. They often remind abductees of seven-foot-tall praying mantises, less often of sizable insects that are often confused with the Mantis, namely grasshoppers or ants. Abductees sense that they are very old, even ancient.
As with the Grays, Jacobs believes there are two levels among the Mantis beings, namely ones that wear no clothing and those that are distinguished by the fact they they wear robes or cloaks with a high collar. I take some issue with this only because I haven’t seen a reason to distinguish two different castes among the Mantodea, and it seems to me they only represent a single caste. Having said that, he’s certainly known more cases than I, most of them undoubtedly cases in which he’s actually dealt with those abductees directly, so let’s accept for the moment that he’s right. This would mean that the top two castes share morphological similarity with one another, and so perhaps represent the reproductive castes; morphological similarity is also shared among the bottom two castes, as previously explained, which appear to represent the sterile castes.
Each of the four, going now from the top down, are shorter, have less authority, have weaker personal identities, and have a less-intense telepathic ability than the order above them. Though the top two castes are morphologically distinct from the bottom two, such a thing is certainly not unheard of in insect colonies, which is by no means the only reason we might assume that the Mantodea and the Grays are members of a singular, extraterrestrial, eusocial insect species.
There may be yet another, higher caste in the Gray Mantodea colony as well. Though rare in reports, at least insofar as I have seen, there do seem to be remarkably similar themes among incidents reported by abductees in which the aliens have brought them to an entity what would appear to be a tier higher than the Mantis beings — some central authority to whom even they answer.
One such story comes from Betty Andreasson Luca, specifically through Raymond Fowler’s 1979 book, The Andreasson Affair: The Documented Investigation of a Woman’s Abduction Aboard a UFO. While reliving an abduction experience from her childhood under hypnosis, Luca described how a Gray escort placed her on a glass-like floor before a “Great Door,” which was itself made of multilayered glass. It was then explained to her that it was time for her to enter the door, go “home” and see the “One,” at which time she had an OBE and, after looking back at her vacant body, entered the door. There she experienced a blinding light and with it a rapturous sense that “everything is one.” Despite attempts made in both this and another hypnosis session on May 15, 1980, Luca seemed incapable of describing to the hypnotist what resided beyond the door.
A similar experience was described by “Susan Steiner” in David Jacob’s 1999 book The Threat: Revealing the Secret Alien Agenda, where she explains what happened after an alien escorted her through a desert, alien landscape. “And then we’re like walking and he’s grabbing my hand,” she says. “He takes my hand and it seems like we’re walking up steps but there’s no steps. We’re just floating and we float up toward this building, these big glass doors.” Though the transcript provided by Jacobs does not include what, if anything, she might have remembered seeing beyond those doors, I have to wonder what her full account of this experience might reveal. Like Luca, was she simply unable to properly articulate her experience?
The frustration over the matter of what might be behind that huge glass door — or doors — continues in an account provided by abductee Kim Carlsberg, though in her case the memory did not arise under hypnosis. In her book Beyond My Wildest Dreams, she describes how on October 18, 1991, she awoke to a blast of light and found herself “walking through a sea of glowing mist, accompanied by an entourage of diminutive grey beings.” Astonished at her degree of lucidity and control, she decided to take the opportunity to discover who was ultimately responsible for what these creatures had been doing to her. Fully admitting the cheesy nature of the demand, she asked them to take her to their leader. To her astonishment, they then seemed to submit to her request:
“The vapor dissipated as we approached a towering set of double doors. The doors parted majestically and my mind plunged into blackness. I regained consciousness as I approached the same doors from the opposite side. My request had been granted but it was obviously deemed important that my interlude remain wrapped in a cocoon of forgetfulness.”
In reflection upon this experience in her book, Kim describes her sense that the Grays were appendages of some unified consciousness, akin to “a beehive, where worker-drones, soldiers, and nurses minister to the needs of the queen, all acting under the dominion of a vast, mass-mind… a ‘hive’ mentality.” This would seem to resonate with Betty’s description of the “One” residing behind the “Great Door.”
If Jacobs is in part incorrect and the Mantis beings represent a single caste, might they be the Drones or Kings, and might “the leader” that resides behind the door or doors be the Gyne or Queen, founder of the invading colonies, puller of all the strings in the interstellar Gray Mantodea colony? What might this being look like? Though it may be a leap, there are vague suggestions that we might have been given a glimpse.
In her first book, Into the Fringe (pages 102-103) Karla Turner describes speaking with her son, David, who had experienced an apparent recollection of two scenes superimposed over one another. One of these images depicted a sandstorm on a world that was entirely desert, and “the only way I could tell the sky from the ground was that the sky was a lighter shade of tan.” The second image depicted “an outside area at night, pitch-black. But I could see something in front of me. It looked like a fifteen-foot-tall tree trunk or irregular column, and it was covered with thick, dark brown fur” and while he “could see some sort of appendage near the top of the column”, he was clueless as to its nature.
As Karla Turner noted in that same book, this experience bears an uncanny resemblance to an incident described in chapter 26 of Whitley Strieber’s 1989 novel, Majestic, which is a fictional account based on the Roswell story. In the novel, Nick Duke, a Baltimore reporter, investigates a lead given to him by Wilfred Stone, an ex-director of the CIA. In the chapter in question, the character of Wilfred Stone describes what to him was a strange and confusing experience in which he seemed to have found himself on a planet which appeared like Saturn in which he was “standing in a desert. It was strewn with sharp black boulders that shone dully in the weak light.” He described “the grit underfoot” and how “the air was crackling dry and the sky was brown.” He felt as if he were some unthinking animal as he ran across the world. He described two suns, one that was just setting as the scene began, leaving him in darkness, and the other, red sun rising in the midst of his encounter with what appeared to be a gigantic insect. It was the furry tree trunk description that resonated with David’s mental image, and David seemed to be describing the insect’s legs. Strieber wrote:
“For an instant I saw the complex face of the thing that had held me. It looked like nothing so much as a tremendous mantis. But those eyes — huge, reflecting the red air — were not blank. I was shocked. Somebody was looking at me. Joy rang out. There was peace, wisdom and then a cock of the head: the irony of our situation. Soundless in the charged air, laughter.”
Among the earthly insects, queens serve as the founder of an insect colony and her primary function is laying an enormous amount of eggs that ultimately become colony members. They can live up to 500 times longer than the typical worker and have a longer lifespan than most insects in general. If this is the case for any hypothetical queen among the Grays, it would stand to reason that the pattern of those with more authority being taller would continue. In light of this, might the being behind the door merely be a far more mature and therefore taller rendition of the Mantis beings with which we are now at least moderately familiar with through encounter and abduction reports — and perhaps akin to the “gigantic Mantis” Strieber referenced in his fictional work? Is Jacobs perhaps wrong after all, and are the Mantodea we see during abductions all members of the same caste, the Drones, while the Queen resides inside a suitably large structure on their desert homeworld that bears relatively large doors?
If taken literally, it seems doubtful, as the Mantis creatures, much like the Gray nymphs, appear to have male and female personalities. It does seem probable, even likely, that some being of either sex resides at the top, however.
In any case, there is still the question as to what kind of insect-like caste system the Gray Mantodea might belong to, as the insect colonies with which we are familiar are distinguished in one of two fashions. First, they can be distinguished by polyphenism, as with ants, which is to say with respect to their morphology, and so are inevitably born into their given caste and can only ever hope to die their way out of it. If this were the case with our extraterrestrial Mantodea, the Mantis beings would be born into the reproductive castes of the colony as Kings and Queens and ultimately die there, just as the Grays would be born and destined to die as sterile members of the Worker caste.
Alternatively, the castes can bear age polytheism, where the elder generation of the worker caste educates the younger and duties are defined in accordance with age. In other words, it could be that the alien society is structured so that the Small sterile nymphs, being younger and less experienced, are automatically relegated to the lowest of the Worker castes, where they are apprentices to the Talls and charged with menial duties. Once achieving a certain degree of education and physical maturity, they would then develop into the equally sterile Talls who, being more experienced, direct the activities of the Smalls and only step forward to conduct more specialized tasks. Eventually the Talls themselves develop into the imago stage and become Mantis beings, at which point they may actually have the capacity to reproduce.
All things considered, age polytheism appears to be the appropriate description of this presumably alien society, at least based on their behavior as displayed through abduction reports as a whole. Higher castes seem to not only oversee the activities of the lower caste but coach them in more specialized procedures, as if they will one day at least potentially adopt their leadership role. This still fails to explain the extreme differences between the Mantodea morphology and that of the Grays, however, which by itself, if nothing else is considered, makes polyphenism seem like the more suitable interpretation. The ultimate answer might be found by taking a closer look at the developmental style of our associated earthly, praying and preying order of insects.
Insects here develop in one of two styles. Holometabolous insects develop through “complete metamorphosis” consisting of four stages: egg, larval stage, the inactive state called the pupa (such as when butterflies- and moths-to-be spin their cocoons), and finally the adult stage known as imago. Mantis species as we know them on earth are hemimetabolous insects, however, which is to say that they develop through three stages of “incomplete metamorphosis,” so called due to the fact that there is no pupil stage, but instead a gradual development involving the molting of old exoskeletons as they grow. They are first an egg, then a nymph and finally an imago, or adult, but it’s a relatively smooth transition. Mantis Nymphs are normally similar to the adults save for their size, absence of genitalia and, in some species, their color and the absence of wings. There are other species, however, in which the nymphs are morphologically distinct from adults, appearing similar to ants. As it molts it changes size and develops morphologically, and in the process its diet may change as well.
If they are indeed age polytheistic, could this help explain the differences and similarities between the Grays and Mantis beings? This could imply that the alien caste system is organized according to stages of development (age polytheism), and only according to size and morphology (polyphenism) incidentally.
This leaves the remaining characteristics of eusociality, namely the group rearing of offspring and an overlapping of generations. At least with respect to “hybrids,” as they have been erroneously called (with the most appropriate term presently available being “transgenic organism”), the young first develop in “incubatoriums” or “baby factories,” are then raised in nurseries, and finally in on-board habitats. All aforementioned stages involve the brood being cared for by either the female Talls or older “hybrids” rather than their actual parents. They then ultimately enter the hierarchy at the level of the Smalls, where they become apprentices to the Talls and climb the chain of command as they grow and develop — incidentally, providing more evidence of age polytheism being the nature of the Gray Mantodea colony. We might assume the same is also true for the “pure” members of the alien species.