This specimen appears to be at the top of the alien hierarchy, and for good reason. As you've probably seen, its physical form is not suited for combat by any means. However, these "Elders" have an incredible pool of psionic energy at their disposal, which helps to explain why the other species are subordinate to them.
This specimen appears to be at the top of the alien hierarchy, and for good reason. As we've noted in the field, its physical form is not suited for combat by any means. Their bodies actually appear to be quite frail, with evidence of atrophy and muscular degeneration having occurred over an extended period of time. This is not surprising, as initial radiocarbon dating indicates this particular creature could be... several thousand years old. Unlike the other specimens we've examined, there is little to indicate that it was genetically enhanced, at least not with the same ambition as the others.
Strangely enough, we have uncovered similarities between the "Ethereal" brain and that of the Sectoid Commander. Both show the same enhanced synaptic connections, confirming our suspicion that this is the likely source of their power. These Ethereals appear to have an incredible pool of psionic energy at their disposal... more than anything we've previously encountered, which helps to explain why the other species are subordinate to them. The Unit Analysis View should provide additional information about this creature's combat capabilities in the field.
It would be impossible to accurately date an extraterrestrial species using radiocarbon dating (which relies on the half life value of Carbon-14) without knowing the current and past concentrations of C-14 on the alien homeworld (assuming it is even naturally present in such an environment). Furthermore the carbon dating of living specimens can also result in unusual readings, given the fact that living species are not closed systems and as such are continually absorbing carbon or use C-14 poor material as the basis for exoskeletal growth or shells; as an example, snail shells incorporate material from the surroundings which could result in the shells containing levels of C-14 many times lower than the current standard.