Until the mid 20th century, serious speculation about advanced life forms in our solar system was common place. Nowadays, the illustration above would make a scientist laugh. Click for more wonderful illustrations, one alien for each planet.
What happened? Space exploration happened, we actually sent probes to all these planets, finding nothing of the sort, just desolation. But just as these speculative aliens were being killed by science, Ufology appeared and soon enough, much more naive versions of aliens – exactly like humans at first – would emerge and evolve to the Grey alien archetype.
Not that this archetype was something new, on the contrary, fantasy was dealing with them long before they were described as real aliens.
Martin Kottmeyer wrote an amazing series on the subject in Magonia: Varicose Brains.
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