The British science fiction writer H.G. Wells, in the article "Man of the Year Million" in 1893, describes humanity transformed into a race of gray-skinned beings, stunted and with big heads. In his book "The First Men in the Moon" in 1901, Selenites, or natives of the Moon, are described as having gray skin, big heads, large black eyes and wasp stings.
In 1933, the Swedish novelist Gustav Sandgren, using the pen name Gabriel Linde, published a science fiction novel called Den okända faran (The Unknown Danger), where he describes a race of extraterrestrials: "[...] the creatures did not resemble any race of humans. They were short, shorter than the average Japanese, and their heads were big and bald, with strong, square foreheads, and very small noses and mouths, and weak chins. What was most extraordinary about them were the eyes – large, dark, gleaming, with a sharp gaze. They wore clothes made of soft grey fabric, and their limbs seemed to be similar to those of humans." The novel was aimed at young readers, and it included illustrations of the aliens.
In 1965, newspaper reports of the Betty and Barney Hill abduction brought Greys to international attention. The alleged abductees, Betty and Barney Hill, claimed to have been abducted by alien beings and taken to a saucer-shaped spaceship in 1961. The term "Greys" did not come into usage until many years later, but the alleged beings described by Betty and Barney Hill generally fit many of the common traits of what we now call Greys. From a star chart reported by Betty Hill, an elementary school teacher and amateur astronomer, Marjorie Fish, concluded that the home planet of these beings was located in the Zeta Reticuli star system. Greys are therefore sometimes known as Zeta Reticulans.