Out-of-universe, the salarians of Mass Effect were based heavily on the stereotypical "Gray Man" aliens made famous by the supposed Roswell UFO crash. Their long thin limbs, enormous eyes, relatively featureless faces, tall heads, etc, all strongly evoke that popular "alien" design.

In-universe, the salarians are famously talented scientists, and notable as being the primary "uplifting" races of the galaxy, having uplifted the krogan from pre-spaceflight status during the Rachni Wars, and studying the yahg (as we see in ME3), another pre-spaceflight species. Their ships, while not stereotypically saucer-shaped, were designed to be smooth and rounded, along the lines of marine animals.

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Given that Humanity was clearly on the verge of spaceflight in the mid-20th century, and given that there was a mass relay in Earth's own system, it would make sense that the salarians would be aware of and interested in Humanity's development, and that their interest would take the form of abducting and studying human specimens (just like the krogan and yahg).

Is this connection ever established in-universe? In the world of Mass Effect, did a salarian ship crash in New Mexico and inspire the Roswell alien archetype? Or are their physical and behavioral similarities merely a coincidence?

  • This would be a interesting plot point and something bioware could have easily included. I'm going to say that bioware thought of it and left it out because they didn't have a way to reveal it through the story that made sense or they wanted to leave it up to the players imagination. There is a thread about it on bioware's forum forum.bioware.com/topic/50763-salarian-conspiracy-theory – Iankill Oct 15 '15 at 18:50
  • Just a nitpick, but although the Roswell crash has been retroactively imagined/claimed to involve grey aliens, I don't think it's actually true that the grey alien was "made famous by the supposed Roswell UFO crash", I think this vision of aliens really became popular after 1966 book about Betty and Barney Hills' claims of being abducted, see the grey alien wiki article. – Hypnosifl Oct 15 '15 at 23:17

Almost certainly not.

According to the Mass Effect timeline, http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline humans did not discover Charon was actually a frozen Mass Relay until 2419, and then they worked to reactivate it. Since no Mass Relay to the sol system was active before that, Salarians would very probably not have been able to reach earth.

Further backing up that Salarians would not have visited earth, after the Rachni Wars, which started in 1 AD by activating a mass Relay that they had no idea where it connected to, it was illegal to randomly activate mass relays.

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