I'm working on some grey alien illustrations, and I was wondering where might one find the standard appearance of these little devils?

There seems to be much artistic license taken, so I was hoping to find something more standard from the people who claim to have some authority in the area.

What / where is a standard depiction of the "Grey Alien" known from the 1950's onward?

*note, this is the best stackexchange I could find for this question since this is in a way worldbuilding.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Considering that the grey aliens are artistic depictions in their entirety... I do not see how you can get anything except "artistic license" in relation to these things. $\endgroup$
    – MichaelK
    Jul 6, 2016 at 23:14
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You could pick any given "eyewitness" account and use that as your standard. However, they don't all agree with each other on the details. There's never been a conference where all of the abductees got together and drafted an official specification of a standard Grey. (Though I'd love to be a fly on the wall if that ever got organized) $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Jul 6, 2016 at 23:38
  • $\begingroup$ Are you telling me paranormal experiencers and conspiracy theorists have not put together a standard? ;D Maybe I'll stick to the John E Mack kid's drawings and build on that. $\endgroup$
    – Pipsqweek
    Jul 7, 2016 at 0:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Pipsqweek Grey aliens have been only known since the 1980's onwards. Your typical 1950's space alien was a spunky, long-haired humanoid in a shiny suit and came from Venus. Grey aliens came with the 1980's alien abductions epidemic. David Brin has suggested greys are nothing but rebadged elves. Just do grey aliens your way and have fun doing so. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Jul 7, 2016 at 8:44
  • $\begingroup$ You may find this scifi stackexchange question relevant. $\endgroup$
    – Hypnosifl
    Jul 18, 2016 at 2:05

2 Answers 2


The standard to start with would be Joe Nickell’s Alien Timeline.


Use that as a starting point to find depictions made at the right time and locate cultural influences that affected this depiction.

From the annotation on the poster, I would suggest looking up the works of John Mack.

  • $\begingroup$ This is a great resource! Very awesome. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – Pipsqweek
    Jul 18, 2016 at 21:49

Check out the purported alien autopsy video filmed in 1947. Hoax or not, this is probably the source for most artistic representations of aliens since that time.


  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Also, hoax or not, that's creepy. $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2016 at 3:39
  • $\begingroup$ I thought so too. Hard to get through but great reference. $\endgroup$
    – Pipsqweek
    Jul 7, 2016 at 5:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .