Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Worst Dressed Grays List

worstdressedgrays by Martin S. Kottmeyer*

         I was recently flipping through a copy of September 2004’s Vogue magazine and was surprised to see a Gray in an advertisement.  It was one of a short series of ads promoting American Legend Mink that was bound by an ufo theme.  It’s unclear what was intended.  Is the Gray a ring-bearer for a wedding ceremony?  The dress certainly seems bridal, but do brides wear minks?  So is he her date and it’s a gift?  Who knows; who cares; I guess should be the right thought.  I confess my immediate reaction is that this may spell doom for the Grays.  When the cultural mainstream embraces Grays it seems time to pack up the tent and start auditioning reptoids. 


         Eventually though I began to contemplate the fashion issues.  It was interesting that the alien had rather more muscular thighs than we are used to seeing on Grays.  How odd, given the usual adoration of thin, anorexic frames in fashion venues.  It was however more important, as this is Vogue, to note what the alien wears.  In this case, of course, it wears nothing.  The clear fashion judgment is that aliens should be naked.  Presumably this is all the better to appreciate their nongendered unisexuality, a symbol that they can’t be swayed by primitive emotional drives. That, anyways, was the point of pride of naked Grays in science fiction expressed in stories like Stanton Coblenz’s “Into Plutonian Depths.” (Wonder Stories Quarterly Spring 1931)

         That has been the general fashion among aliens the past decade or so.  We could quote David Jacobs on this matter if we needed to.  But who doesn’t already know that Grays either prance about in the buff or wear skin tight outfits with little color, cut, pattern, or decoration beyond an occasional insignia.

         It has not always been so.  Those bald brainoid alien types we now know as Grays – they weren’t so labeled until the mid-80s – originally were almost always dressed.  Not uncommonly they had space helmets on, but eventually they adapted and now they never wear them.  What is more embarrassing is how dated those outfits now seem.  Occasionally, they seem to betray a problematic tendency to obey Hollywood sci-fi kitsch conventions for aliens.  As their appearance in Vogue now makes Grays fair game for fashion criticism, it is time to sic the fashion police on some of the aliens from our past.

         We present our list for the worst dressed Grays of all time.

– – –

1.     Martian Pee-Jays.

Our first loser is Quaazgaw, an alien from the early Eighties seen by one Barbara Schutte.  The star in triangle look is one clearly influenced by the suit worn by Don Rickles portraying a sarcastic Martian in the cult non-classic Pajama Party (1964). Note the border along the triangle and the large belt buckle. 


– – –

2.    Aliens in Turtlenecks. 

This fashion disaster first started appearing in the 1980s as a misguided attempt to downplay the sudden influx of pencil-neck aliens into the crews of ufos after Spielberg’s effects designer Carlo Rimbaldi introduced the thin neck alteration into his creation for Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).   It soon started appearing in the reports collected by Budd Hopkins.  It first was heard in the testimony of Steven Kilburn in Missing Time (1982), but soon reached visual expression in Kathie Davis’s alien drawn for Intruders (1987).  Others followed like this second example from Jean Mundy’s abductee group. The worst victim of this trend however clearly has be the poor Gray drawn a Chicago businessman called Jim.  The poor fellow looks terribly uncomfortable as though forced to wear it because it was gift from its clone-master.


– – –

3.    The Space Soldiers look. 

In January 1974, a gentleman headed for Warneton on the Franco-Belgian border comes upon this grey-uniformed figure with a sash / satchel across the chest, double rows of buttons, and a cube-shaped helmet.  It seems clearly influenced by the outfits worn by the minions of Emperor Ming on planet Mongo as they appeared in episode 11 of the Flash Gordon serial “Space Soldiers Conquer the Universe” (1940). 


The sash/satchel look was quite popular.  Norm Duke added a sash to her depiction of the aliens seen by Barney Hill even though he didn’t specifically say anything more than the fact that they had a military look, wore something in black leather, and had a general impression they first seemed like Nazi’s.  We see it in the cases of Patty Price (1973), Mario Restier (illustration November 1976), Betty Andreasson (1979), South Dakota Connection (1983), and L.D. (1990).


A different sort of Space Soldier is evident in this next drawing from the case of an abducted Canadian rock band regressed in 1982.   The black boots seems probably Army issue and the rest of the outfit was described as a shiny, dark blue, skin-tight uniform.  Though we could have ignored this one, it is notable that the aliens in this case were seen programming Bigfoot creatures to do their heavy lifting on Earth — as good a reason as any to hold this particular soldier in low regard even if his look is bit more modern than the others.


– – –

4.    The 2036 Look. 

Further contemplation and contrast manipulation of Norm Duke’s depiction of Barney Hill’s Nazi’s suggests a second influence.  The angular shoulders and front chest surface recalls in some measure the look of Everytown in the year 2036 as envisioned in Things to Come, the 1936 film based in H.G. Wells’ writings.  It was generally influential and graces other fictional futures like Gerry Anderson’s Fireball XL5.  In ufo culture, this look is more clearly paralleled in an art-piece that was a center of attention at New York’s June 1967 Fourth Annual Congress of Scientific Ufologists.  The name of the artist is unknown but it was intended to be “a life-sized representation of a humanoid creature from Outer Space” carefully following descriptions given by witnesses to ufo landings.


– – –

5.    The Choir-Boy Look. 

In ufo culture, the best example is from the David Stephens abduction of 1975.  The most prominent exemplars of this style were the Talosians and Vians in the series Star Trek though it was fairly common in Irwin Allen and Gerry Anderson productions. 


– – –

6.    The High Collar Look. 

Here we see a pair of aliens wearing what seems most uncomfortable looking collars on their robes.  The first is a drawing from Edith Fiore’s subject Linda (1989).  The second appeared in a collection of Gray drawings probably taken from the Budd Hopkins collection and appearing in the Learning Channel documentary UFOs & Aliens: Search for the Truth: Alien Life Forms (2000)


This fashion was first seen among the Kanamits of the Twilight Zone classic “To Serve Man.”  Another good example is the brainy aliens of Space 1999’s episode “War Games.”


The High collar fashion was taken to its most extreme form in Mexico.  Here we see a female Martian with the collar separate from the dress in Santo vs. the Martian Invasion (1966).  The men Martians also wore the collar separately.


– – –

7.      The Jester Look. 

Perhaps self-explanatory, though one might prefer describing it as more like a ring of leaves like one sees at the top of a strawberry.  Perhaps you don’t need cinematic parallels to wonder if this is a good fashion statement to be making if you are a serious-minded alien on a mission to save the earth.  

         The first alien has been named Ahab and was drawn by a ufo percipient in late 1977.  The second is a 1989 drawing of a February 24, 1977 incident involving Lothar Schaefler and set in Langenargen, Germany.  Our cinematic precursor, admittedly less precise than I’d prefer, comes from the Italian 1965 film fable Hercules Against the Moonmen.  The alien is a sorcerer / astrological prophet / spokesman of the moon people who planned to rule our planet after a cataclysm involving the moon nearing the earth kills us all off. 


– – –

8.    Moon Man. 

The drawing was made during an interview with Rachel Jones on October 8, 1977.  Again, the kitsch element here is probably self-evident.  The space man is not exactly being understated in proclaiming his alien-ness by displaying a planetary body on the front like a teen’s letter jacket showing his football team.  It brought to our mind the saucer-aliens in a Fifties Alley Oop comic strip who had the astrological symbol of Venus on their chests to telegraph the information that they were from that planet.  It’s just TOO cute.


– – –

9.    Aliens in Shoulder Pads. 

This one is from the Allagash Abduction, a popular case of the early Nineties.  This drawing by Chuck Rak was made in 1989.  It is not so much that this is a bad look; what bothers us is the setting.  The alien is overseeing an involuntary sperm donation, not planning a football play.  What’s the point of wearing shoulder pads in an operating theatre?


– – –

10.    Michelin Man Gray. 

The drawings are from a June 20, 1976 abduction near Goodland, Kansas.  Though both Joe and Carol draw a figure having a Michelin Man character, Joe draws a head partly like a Gray, but Carol draws it looking more like a bell jar.  Together they evoke an approximation to the space bodyguards in this photo from an early sci-fi picture.  The film is so esoteric we’re not sure what its name is, but it does seem to depict a landing that looks like it could be from the Fifties.  I’ve seen a lot of them, but I know I never saw this one.  There is a possibility these all owe their look to Forbidden Planet’s Robbie the Robot, who was tinkered together from the technology of the extinct Krell of the Altair system.  The head in Carol’s drawing suggests it more plausibly than Joe’s.  I also include an image of spacesuits appearing in the film Assignment Outer Space (1960).  It is probably relevant that some deep sea diving suits had this type of look and numerous early ufo entities had breathing apparatus in conformity to beliefs of the period that aliens would need air matching their home environment in terms of both chemistry and pressurization.  Such a suit would indicate that considerable pressure differences existed much like those in similarly suited humans in a deep ocean dive.  But, if so, where have they gone now?


– – –

11.  The Square-shouldered Rigellian look. 

The first drawing here comes from a Gulf Breese close encounter dated December 2, 1987.  The second comes from the Marvel comic book Thor #131 August 1966 "They Strike from Space."


– – –

12.    The Starship Invaders Look. 

Bill Hamilton’s 1993 Gray drawing seems a composite of styles taken from the September 1977 ufo schlock-flik Starship Invaders.  See how it takes the lady’s chest insignia and the guy’s triangle and holster belt.  The film seems largely forgotten if the difficulty of finding it on video or DVD is a proper measure.


– – –

13.    The Cross-Your-Heart Jump Belt Look.

Carl Higdon’s drawing of his aliens, left, was done November 2, 1974.  A refined version, right, is taken from the documentary Overlords of the UFO (1976) and is chosen to reflect his statement that the aliens displayed ‘gravity-levitation’ capabilities.  When they carried him, he felt they floated him down. Is the X belting functional or aesthetic?  While Higdon compares the straps to those of a school crossing guard, it is hard to ignore the possibility they are functional like the straps of a parachute pack or an ejection seat.  More specifically, it is tempting to see a relationship to the jump belts worn by characters of the 25 century in the Buck Rogers comic strip.  There, the straps hold a backpack filled with inertron, a substance that allows people to be practically weightless and float down safely from airships.


– – –

14.    Alien in a Black Cardigan over White Tee. 

The last of our dozen; this curiosity was briefly seen among the drawings of aliens on a table visible in a Nova documentary aired February 27, 1996 and more recently in the Hopkins scenes of the Peter Jennings’ documentary UFOs: Seeing is Believing.  It may be more properly vague to call this a sweater-jacket over white polo shirt, but cardigan seems a good enough guess.  The judgment call here is not purely aesthetic, but once again of function.  Objectively, one could say this Gray is looking pretty sharp, but to what point?  Aliens are supposed to be genderless and a bit pervy, so why dress up in this distinctly masculine fashion?   Let’s not forget that Grays have Black-Eye Magic Mindscan Powers so they really shouldn’t need to dress fancy to draw in the hot ladies.  Is it appropriate to dress this way during the sort of horrific medical procedures typically seen in Gray encounters?


* * *

aww-med * For more of Martin Kottmeyer’s gems be sure to read An Alien Who’s Who.

We also reproduced here in Forgetomori the seminal Gauche Encounters Imagery.

– – –


Vogue September p. 389.


Quaazgaw drawing from Gray Barker’s  UFO Annual !983, New Age Books, 1983

Pajama Party (1964)


Budd Hopkins, Missing Time, Richard Marek, 1981, p. 61.

Budd Hopkins, Intruders, Random House, 1987, pp. 146-7

Sherle Stark, “Dr. Jean Mundy: Therapeutic Breakthroughs”  UFO, 5, #4, 1990, pp. 30-3.

Jay Rath  The I-Files: True Reports of Unexplained Phenomena in Illinois  Trails Books, 1999, chapter 2


Lorenzen, Coral & Jim  Encounters with UFO Occupants  Berkley Medallion, April 1976, pp. 342-7.)  The Warneton case drawing can be found between pp. 200-1. The case was written up in Flying Saucer Review, v. 20, #5  1974 and reprinted in Bowen, Charles, ed., Encounter Cases from Flying Saucer Review  Signet, 1977, pp. 116-24.

Norm Duke in David C. Knight, UFOs: A Pictorial History from Antiquity to the Present  McGraw-Hill, 1979, p. 106

Patty Price  in Kevin Randle, The October Scenario, Middle Coast Publishing, 1988, p. 153.

Artist conception of Mario Restier case by O. Raymond in November 1976 Official UFO

Raymond Fowler, Andreasson Affair, Prentice-Hall, 1979, pp. 23-4.

Marge Christensen, “The South Dakota Connection  MUFON Ufo Journal #181, March 1983, pp. 3-5.

LD 1990 is in Linda Moulton Howe,  Glimpses of Other Realities: Volume 1: Facts and Eyewitnesses,  Linda Moulton Howe, 1993, p. 270.

Lawrence J. Fenwick, Harry Tokarz, and Joseph Muskat, “Canadian Rock-Band Abducted”  Flying Saucer Review 29, #3, March 1984, pp. 2-9


Norm Duke in David C. Knight, UFOs: A Pictorial History from Antiquity to the Present  McGraw-Hill, 1979, p. 106

Saucer News #69; volume 14, #3’ Fall 1967, p. 21.

Digital photo of VHS video copy of Things to Come.


“The Stephens Abduction in Oxford Maine”  Official UFO  July 1976, pp. 20-21, 46-48.


Edith Fiore, Encounters, Doubleday, 1989, pp. 262-3.

UFOs & Aliens: Search for the Truth: Alien Life Forms, Learning Channel documentary, 2000

Digital photos of videotapes and DVDs of relevant episodes mentioned.


Terry A Hartman, “Another Abduction by Extraterrestrials?”  MUFON UFO Journal # 141, November 1979, pp. 3-4.

Illobrand von Ludwiger and Adolf Schneider  "Brilliantly Shining Object and Strange figures in Langenargen"  November 1989 report in Illobrand von Ludwiger  Interdisciplinary UFO Research  MUFON-CES Report #11 (1993)  pp. 119-56

Digital photo of DVD of Hercules Against the Moonmen (1965).


Rachel Jones, 1977   in  APRO Bulletin, 26, #5 November 1977, p. 1

Alley Oop strip, February 1951 Centralia Sentinel (Centralia, Illinois)


Raymond Fowler, The Allagash Abductions Wild Flower, 1993, p. 133


"Report Wrap-Ups: Abduction in Western Kansas," International Ufo Reporter, post-June 1977 but unspecified, pp. 4-7: unsourced Xerox

Digital image of spacesuits taken from DVD copy of the movie Assignment Outer Space (1960)

Photo from TRUE UFOs & Outer Space Quarterly #20 (Winter 1980-1) p. 12.  Caption reads “An alien spacewoman arrives on Earth, flanked by bodyguards and ready to defend her virtue as she steps down from from an interplanetary ship in this scene from an early sci-fi motion picture…”  I suspect it is post-Forbidden Planet (1956).

Image of Robbie is digital photo taken of him on “War of the Robots” episode of Lost in Space from recent DVD collection of the series.  Originally aired 9 February 91966.

“Rigid Diving Suits” www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/ archeosm/archeosom/en/scafan1.htm


Ed Walters & Frances Walter  The Gulf Breeze Sightings  Avon, 1990, pp. 170-1

Thor comic image acquired from Luis Gonzalez image files.


Bill Hamilton, 1993  is in Linda Moulton Howe,  Glimpses of Other Realities: Volume 1: Facts and Eyewitnesses,  Linda Moulton Howe, 1993, p. 264.

Cinefantastique v. 6, #1, p. 25.


Richard F. Haines, Ufo Phenomena and the Behavioral Scientist  Scarecrow, 1979, pp. 244, 256, 265, 273, 294.

Lorraine Dille Williams, Buck Rogers: The First 60 Years in the 25th Century  TSR, 1988, p. 74.

Digital photo of VHS copy of Nova documentary.

The Peter Jennings special aired 24 February 2005 – copy not on hand.

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Posted in Aliens,Skepticism,UFOs | 28 comments

28 Comments so far

  1. Boing Boing March 12th, 2009 1:32 pm

    Worst-dressed aliens…

    Forgetomori presents a photo gallery of the worst-dressed aliens ever. 6. The High Collar Look. Here we see a pair of aliens wearing what seems most uncomfortable looking collars on their robes. The first is a drawing from Edith Fiore’s subject …

  2. TheComedyStore (The Comedy Store) March 12th, 2009 4:31 pm

    Aliens are a fashion nightmare: http://tinyurl.com/cbt84z

  3. Joe Trip March 12th, 2009 4:38 pm

    For some of the Best Dressed Aliend (including a far-out Michael Jackson), check out:


  4. Dante March 12th, 2009 4:51 pm

    Nicely done. Interesting, amusing, and thorough. In the interest of accuracy, I want to point out that the astrological symbol shown on the alien garb in the Alley Oop panel does not represent Venus as cited. Rather, it is the astrological symbol for Earth.

  5. DavidBoring (Christian B.) March 12th, 2009 5:11 pm

    ein kleiner überblick über die schlechtgekleidetsten aliens: http://tinyurl.com/cbt84z

  6. mmustapic (mmustapic) March 12th, 2009 5:35 pm

    worst dressed aliens http://is.gd/n4KX

  7. Nath_Bayley (Nath_Bayley) March 12th, 2009 5:52 pm
  8. brunogaliza (Bruno Galiza) March 12th, 2009 6:25 pm

    Hahahaha. Crítica à moda alienígena. http://tinyurl.com/cbt84z Vi no @boingboing

  9. […] Worst Dressed Grays List hay una lista ilustrada de los alienígenas peor vestidos de la historia, al menos tal y como los […]

  10. […] Worst Dressed Grays List hay una lista ilustrada de los alienígenas peor vestidos de la historia, al menos tal y como los […]

  11. NotasD March 12th, 2009 8:15 pm

    Los alienígenas peor vestidos de la historia…

    El look niño del coro. En la cultura OVNI el mejor ejemplo es el de la abducción de David Stephens en 1975……

  12. SPACEchannel (SPACEchannel) March 12th, 2009 9:39 pm

    Worst-Dressed Aliens.

  13. […] fotográfica de los alienigenas peor vestidos de la historia. Enlace: forgetomori.com/2009/ufos/worst-dressed-grays-list/ sin comentarios en: ocio, friqui karma: 13 etiquetas: alienigenas, vestidos, historia votos […]

  14. joetrip (joetrip) March 12th, 2009 11:27 pm

    Checking out the Worst Dressed Aliens here:
    and the best dressed aliens here:
    see pg34

  15. silentinfinite (Abigail) March 13th, 2009 7:46 am

    Aliens in turtlenecks? http://tinyurl.com/cbt84z

  16. laurie pink March 13th, 2009 10:04 am

    The Starship Invaders look is also used in the UK children’s edu-ma-tainment programme for schools The Boy From Space.

    One in the Look & Read series that most British youngsters my age (um, nearly 30) will remember with a mixture of fondness and trepidation (Wordy, a key player in every series, was quite a troubling-looking floating orange head and torso, covered in computer keys. Like an uber-literate version of He-Man’s drifty wizard friend, Orco)

    The eponymous Boy From Space was named Peep peep by the children who discovered in him (yes, really), and wrote cryptic messages that made no sense.

    It turns out his race learned to read & write English from the warning on an inside-out clear plastic bag; and the main characters weren’t quite bright enough to realise that “regnad” is danger spelled backwards.

    Pics from

    BBC Cult Classics page

    Insanity & Beyond Blog

  17. Narfmaster (Alex M / Narfmaster) March 13th, 2009 1:39 pm

    Greys still freak me out. http://tinyurl.com/cbt84z

  18. BonDean (Bonnie Dean) March 13th, 2009 3:19 pm

    Call the fashion police! Worst-dressed ETs: http://tinyurl.com/cbt84z

  19. Asgard Oberon March 13th, 2009 9:38 pm

    don’t knock ‘Starship Invasion’. it’s pretty awesome movie. you can watch it here:


  20. Les liens du dimanche #15 | ufofu March 15th, 2009 5:28 am

    […] Forgetomori a sorti un dossier sur les ETs les plus mal habillés […]

  21. Mat March 15th, 2009 9:21 am

    The modus operandi of the 1982 Space Soldiers who controlled Bigfoot bears remarkable similarity to the Aliens from the season 3 episode 17 – Feb 1976 episode of the Six Million Dollar Man “The Secret of Bigfoot”. They forced Bigfoot (Andre the Giant) to attack Steve Austin with the ominous threat of “Sasquatch attack, or you know what will happen to Shalon” (Stephanie Powers).

  22. dansdata (Daniel Rutter) March 15th, 2009 3:04 pm

    http://tinyurl.com/cbt84z The ones in Stargate were, of course, always decently naked.

  23. Leslie_ (Leslie) March 16th, 2009 9:19 am

    worst dressed aliens http://tinyurl.com/cbt84z

  24. […] Poorly Dressed Aliens […]

  25. […] element from ufology can be found years before in science fiction. Some examples, however, can be quite impressive, and the Amazing Stories illustration foretelling later Nazi UFOs tales is clearly one of […]

  26. Worst-dressed aliens | Gareth W. Davies June 16th, 2010 10:29 pm

    […] Worst Dressed Grays List […]

  27. Worst-dressed aliens December 7th, 2010 12:29 pm

    […] Worst Dressed Grays List   If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it! […]

  28. tops August 26th, 2011 6:19 pm

    hmmm…I beg to differ with this article. I believe there is something to the UFO and close encounter phenomenon just from reading a large composite of data but the waters are a little muddied. This is due to the clandestine behavior of the actual occupants or abductors.

    Comparing a handful of cases to sci-fi movies is a little deceiving because you’re only tapping the surface.

    See more ET Data here:


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