Do the gray aliens (a.k.a. Grays) reported in alien abduction accounts exist in Star Trek? If so, has it been mentioned in Star Trek canon that these are the same aliens that people have reportedly encountered?

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    Do the weirdo's who abducted Riker and removed his arm count? That was pretty much the cliche modern "alien abduction" story, up to the crew members being hypnotized to remember their experiences.
    – rld
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 20:37
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    @rld - From the episode Schisms, correct? I would count it.
    – user123444
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 15:47
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    The Gorn are fairly gray. I wouldn't call one bug-eyed (to its face). Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 21:47
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    Huumons. Are red-tinted gray. The red tint is more obvious in the lighter ones. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 14:50
  • Do Andorians count? Some of them are so greyish it's more grey (or white even) than blue.
    – Mast
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 12:14

5 Answers 5


The closest visually would probably be


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An alien who abducted / held Riker in TNG:S4:8 episode "Future Imperfect"


Possibly, but we don't see them in the show. The only mention of any race of alien that "abducts" humans is in the Voyager Episode "The 37s", where we learn that a race in the Delta Quadrant, the Briori, frequently kidnapped humans to be kept as slaves. However, the human's revolted and drove the Briori off long ago, and we never get a chance to see what one might look like.

Possibly related to the question is the Deep Space 9 episode, "Little Green Men", where we learn that Quark, Rom, and Nog get sucked back in time and are inadvertently, responsible for the Roswell incident.

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    I remembered Little Green Men while writing my question. It's possible the army guys/lady probably thought these aliens were the ones responsible for the abductions.
    – user123444
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 19:52
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    Not especially relevant to the OP, but 'The only mention of any race of alien that "abducts" humans is in the Voyager Episode "The 37s"' isn't true. TNG episodes Schisms and Allegiance are both about crew members being abducted.
    – Ian Newson
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 12:40
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    The Briori weren't the only race that abducted humans. The Skagarans referenced in the ST: Enterprise episode "North Star" did so as well Commented Sep 21, 2020 at 1:29

Corbomitian Guy

I know this alien was a ruse, but there must be some veracity to it, since Kirk and crew accept it so readily. It doesn't seem reasonable that Balok would have chosen a completely fantasy disguise to try and fool rational adults, I would assume these dudes exist in-universe.

(He is an avatar used by a character Balok in the episode "The Corbomite Maneuver", and also appears in the end credit sequence of every episode)

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    I remember seeing this alien during the credits, freaked me out. +1.
    – user123444
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 22:05
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    The Enterprise's stated mission was to "boldly go where no man had gone before." It stands to reason they'd be expecting to see alien species no one had ever seen before. Therefore, not too surprising that a "completely fantasy disguise" might fool rational adults after all.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 14:35
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    Kirk and crew accepted most aliens pretty readily. In my recollection, the only one they found surprising was the Horta -- the organization that started mining the planet didn't realize it was inhabited because the lifesign detectors didn't detect silicon-based life.
    – Barmar
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 21:11
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    I'm suggesting that "greys" are sort of a galactic scarecrow. I believe Balok took a form that he had reason to believe would frighten humanoids, not pique their curiosity. Not every space faring humanoid would prove as brave as Kirk and crew did. If one wanted to try and scare away curious mice, one might dress as a cat.
    – rld
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 21:30

Interdimensional aliens that abduct crew members from the Enterprise do exist. They are seen in the episode "Schisms". It is not established that these are in fact the same grey aliens reported in earth's history, but their behavior of abduction, experimentation, and return are similar.

Schisms (Episode)

However, they do not physically resemble descriptions of greys.

One of the solanogen-based lifeforms

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    "descriptions of greys" would most likely be the helmets of these guys... Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 13:57

We know that the aliens recovered from the crash at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 were ferengi; as this is one of the roots of the grey alien myth (along with Betty and Barney Hill), I'm inclined to say that grey aliens are generally other species that have been (deliberately?) misidentified.

  • 5
    That certainly explains why the world ended up as it is from a financial perspective.
    – Overmind
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 13:56

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