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Extras on the season 3 DVD set say that the stop motion effects and the general design of Lord Kinbote were meant as a tribute to stop motion animation pioneer Ray Harryhausen.
As Lord Kinbote appeared in the opening sequence of the episode, and the opening sequences usually depict something which actually happened, It's quite likely that he existed. Taller than the other aliens, with sharp claws, Lord Kinbote resembles the immature Grey alien form shown later in the series.
Charles Kinbote — who also may or may not exist — is the narrator of Vladimir Nabokov's 1962 novel Pale Fire.