I think that they're real, but not in the sense of space aliens taking humans for experiments or collecting our sperm/ova for use in their hybridization program. The influence might be physically real, but the visuals are mostly psychic (as in Karla Turner's books) or they might be something altogether stranger, connected to IDH and/or our subconsciousness (John Mack). Also, here's some food for your thought from a culture that wasn't that much exposed to the outside influence: in soviet/russian ufology (if you can call it "*logy" - it was mostly just gathering of the stories with no further investigation or pseudoscientific investigations using "biolocation" -i.e. dowsing) there were no "abduction scenario" and no grey alien archetype till the 90s when the floodgates of information were open. Most stories resemble USA contactee stories of the 1950s, where people are usually invited onboard rather than taken against their will. There's much more investigative tone to the visitors though in contrast to the benevolent brothers/teachers of the contactees. And the beings look human (including but not limited blond-haired "nordics"), human-looking robots or just robots (as in the one of the 2 cases famous outside of the USSR - Voronezh UFO). There are some stories that include reproduction or mating themes, but they are not the majority. I don't know what that means - maybe, as Jaque Vallee notes in one of his book, the phenomenon reflects local cultural frames of reference, or maybe different regions are really owned by different entities - black-haired dwarves (ihkals) of south america come to mind which are not present elsewhere. For what it's worth, my wife had a dream (which is documented in her dream diary about 7 years ago) about small beings (not greys, just faceless little people) doing something to her on a table, and her later giving a birth to a tiny faceless baby. This was 5 years before I started taking greater interest in American ufology and learning about the themes in abduction literature (actually that's how it came up: she remembered this dream after I retolled her the main concepts of Hopkins/Jacobs' books - and we later found it in the diary). For me, this just further proves that the phenomenon is more psychic/non-physical, but Hopkins/Jacobs proponents would probably call it a screen-memory.