Cousins of the Grays – Ryan Sprague’s “Hidden Auditorium”

Ryan Sprague

Ryan Sprague

While most of us have swiftly moved past the question of whether or not UFOs exist, the troublesome relative of this phenomenon has arguably been that of the existence of said UFOs occupants. According to former Canadian defense minister, Paul Hellyer, in a 2014 interview with RT News, there are over eighty different species of aliens plaguing our planet. While there is no irrefutable evidence proving this ambitious claim, one type of alien species seems to hold the reins as the most frequently reported: the grays.

These spindly entities often include extremely slender bodies, disproportionately large heads, and deep, black eyes. They have been reported in many alien abduction cases, having almost robotic like tendencies, lacking any empathy for the abductee before them. While these beings have been both praised as peaceful visitors and revered as intrusive pests, they remain an iconic figure in the human eyes and minds of those familiar with UFO and abduction literature.

Illustration by Dominika Lizoňová

Illustration by Dominika Lizoňová

But what many may not be aware of is that both small and tall gray beings have also been reported in the world of cryptids, monsters, and mythical beasts, enigmatically breaking the myth that we may be dealing strictly with extraterrestrials. I began a search for stories of gray creatures that seemed to bare striking resemblances to the grays, yet held their own lore in the most mysterious of ways.

The Dover Demon


Original sketch by Bill Bartlett

It was in April of 1977 when the small town of Dover, Massachusetts suffered a string of strange sightings involving a small creature roaming the streets. First reported by a group of teenage boys, Bill Bartlett, 17, noticed a small figure huddled next to a stone wall as they passed by it in their vehicle. The figure soon came into sight from the car’s headlights, turning and staring straight at Bartlett. It’s eyes were, according to Bartlett, “glowing brightly like orange marbles. It was about four feet tall and stood upright. It had a pale, gray tone to its hairless body. It had no nose or mouth. It’s head was very large like a watermelon,” he would go on to describe. While the other friends in the car didn’t see anything, they all admitted that Bartlett was extremely distraught after telling them what he had seen. Bartlett would return home that night, visibly shaken, according to his father, and sketched the creature.

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It was a few hours later that the second sighting of this creature took place. John Baxter, 15, was walking home from his girlfriend’s house. Thinking it was a friend of his, he approached, stunned when he finally saw the the silhouette of something rather odd. This small creature stared at him, standing upright, with bright orange/red eyes. It had very long toes and fingers which clung tight to rocks on the ground. Baxter would draw a sketch of the creature upon request from local newspapers, which can be seen below.


Original sketch by John Baxter

The following night would include what most considered the final sighting of the Dover Demon. Abby Brabham was being driven home by a friend when she noticed a small creature on the side of the road. She would describe it quite similarly to that of Bartlett and Baxter, however she stated that it was crawling on all fours. Her description of the eyes differed as well, proclaiming a bright green color.

Despite the variances in witness testimony, it seems that something truly strange was wandering the streets of Dover over the span of two nights. Could the fact that as the sightings grew, the creature was becoming more and more desperate to not be seen? Or perhaps, it was somehow ill or injured, starting on two legs, and slowly digressing in strength, having to eventually crawl. Though completely speculative, it seemed that this creature did not want to be seen. But in the eyes and memory of the three witnesses above, the small gray creature dubbed the Dover Demon has all but faded into cryptozoological obscurity, its bright orange (or green) eyes haunting the back roads of Dover up until today.

The Carmel Road Creature

Setting our startled sights a bit west, we find a strange case out of Highland County, Ohio. In the blistering cold Winter in 2014, a local resident was driving up a steep hill on Carmel Road. When he came to the crest of the hill, he looked out his driver’s side window to see a seven foot tall creature, gray in color, with muscular legs that were bent backwards. The witness, who was a retired Marine, took note that the creature didn’t seem to have any arms. He hurriedly rushed home, in shock, and told his wife about what he had seen. Together, they reported the incident to the local chapter of MUFON (Mutual UFO Network).

“My husband saw it,” his wife would tell local MUFON investigators. “He wouldn’t have admitted to seeing it if he hadn’t been in shock. I had him draw it for me when we got to the house (see below). He says it was asphalt gray. It had no jawline, and its legs were bent backward and it leaned forward as it ran.”


Rather than jumping to conclusions that this was some sort of alien or unexplainable creature, the witness admitted that his reasoning for coming forward to a UFO organization was to at least get the word out, in hopes of other witnesses hopefully coming forward to corroborate his story. “I would like to get this information out in the area in hopes that maybe someone else had seen it, or that their giant cross-bred ostrich got loose… or something!”

The Creature of Mortegliano

A rather similar creature was sighted a few years earlier on February 11th, 2012. In the commune of Mortegliano, Italy, Leonard D’Andrea was forced to make a sudden stop on the roundabout he was driving on. A line of cars lay idle in front of him, all the drivers stepping out of their vehicles. “I thought there was an accident,” D’Andrea presumed. “ But when I saw what they were looking at, it was very unexpected.” D’Andrea witnessed a large creature, grey in tone, walking silently along the road. “It had to be at least thirteen feet tall. “Its legs were slightly bent forward with the back formed by very large tendons. The head had a round shape, ending in a conical shape.”

D’Andrea watched as the creature continued walking down the road, seemingly caring very little for anything in its way. He also watched as a mother gathered her children back into their car. Other witnesses attempted calling the police, but all of their phones seemed to have no reception. At this point, D’Andrea attempted to follow the creature, but had very little success as the traffic was too backed up. It soon disappeared out of sight, heading towards the town of Lestizza, where numerous reports trickled in.

Myth vs. Reality

While intriguing, the incidents above beg the question of how so many people saw these creatures and no photos or video had been taken. These along with so many other reports remain missed opportunities for getting clear images of what these gray creatures may or may not be. This is where the narrative of such stories begin to take on an almost mythological aspect, being passed down through oral tradition and through endless amounts of alternative news sources and web sites. We have fallen victim to such claims time and time again with online creatures being created by the collective imagination of phantom online gods. Simply look at such myths as The Rake and Slenderman for clear reference (Although some would argue the actual existence of the latter) We then find ourselves in a delicate dilemma. Just like the grays in alien mythology, we have almost nothing but witness testimony to rely on when dealing with these creatures. This led me to want to speak directly with a witness of one of these gray creatures. Perhaps this would put a more empathetic microscope on the mysteries that lay before our curious minds.

The Los Angeles Wriggler

I reached out to the paranormal community, hoping that someone would have a story to tell about a gray creature that breached the boundaries of alien intrusion. I found a gentleman in Los Angeles who had an incident occur a mere week prior to originally writing this story. Sam Shearon, an artist living out of Hollywood, was working on a project as the morning of August 12th creeped in. At about 3am, he sat on his couch furiously sketching, when he decided to make some tea. As he got up to head to the kitchen, something out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. Thinking his eyes were playing tricks, he ignored it. But it only intensified. “There was indeed something at my patio door window looking in,” he would tell me. This is when whatever it was came into full view.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Ryan Sprague asks if all grays are really aliens? ” quote=”Are all grays really aliens?”]“It was large. Much larger than a person, though seemingly bent over in some way so that it could look in at me. Its limbs were very long, almost like ropes or tubes. The whole being was thin and tall. It had two arms and two legs, a large round head, dark eyes, and wide mouth. Its limbs were undulating slowly as though it was underwater, much like the movements of an octopus.” This is when Shearon immediately shot up out of his seat. The being quickly reacted. “It climbed up out of view in one movement. Swift and controlled, as though it had been caught spying and quickly recoiled out of view.”


“The Wriggler” Sketch by Sam Shearon

Shearon, though scared, gathered the courage to move to the patio door. He opened it and searched outside for the creature, but saw nothing. “You’re not welcome here!” he yelled. With that, Shearon’s brush with this terrifying and elusive entity seemed to end. But the image of that creature remained. Shearon admitted the following when asked what he thought this creature may have been. “I had been creating vast amounts of artwork in relation to various unexplained or Fortean subjects and my lack of sleep and poor diet and lack of both daylight and exercise initially made me think my mind was merely playing tricks on me.”

Shearon, doubting the experience was real or not, sought advice from a well respected researcher in the world of fortean creatures, David Weatherly. “ After speaking with David. he suggested that my state of being and circumstances are not unlike that of Shaman. That I had perhaps tapped into another state of consciousness, though awake and was able to see past the veil of our dimension into the realm of another, where other life forms may reside. I thought perhaps because of the subject matter I was working on and the level of realism I was bringing to a variety of creatures and entities to an almost photographic level, that I had perhaps attracted one.”

So it could have been possible that Sam had manifested this creature. But I still had to ask if he thought it possible that what he’d seen could have possibly been alien. “On first impression, it certainly had the simple features and large black eyes, though its head was more soccer ball shaped and its mouth was wide. It’s flesh was definitely gray in tone, though its proportions were much too large for a typical gray, and again, its limbs seemed to flow rather than have joints. However, I have read a number of accounts of larger taller greys or praying mantis type alien beings. I do accept that the vastness of the universe and the unknown dimensions are probably host to an infinite variation of life forms. So who knows. Whatever it was, it certainly seemed as though it did not belong.”


After looking at such creatures as the Dover Demon, the Carmel Road and Mortegliano creatures, and the flowing-limbed entity witnessed by Shearon, my eyes were open to the possibility that the grays we once thought so alien, could perhaps come from somewhere much more grounded. And whether that be from the backwoods of Massachusetts, the winding roads of Ohio, the well driven roundabouts of Italy, or the darkness of mid morning in Los Angeles, these gray beings were shattering any sense that we are dealing strictly with one phenomenon. And as they continue to be reported, they have shown us time and time again, that things are not always so black and white, but terrifyingly many shades of enigmatic gray.

Ryan Sprague is an investigative journalist, focusing on the topic of UFOs. He is the author of the upcoming book, Somewhere in the Skies: A Human Approach to an Alien Phenomenon, published by Richard Dolan Press. He is also the co-host of Into the Fray Radio and a frequent contributor to the geek website: His work can be seen at: