1963 - The Willow Grove Encounter
Published: 2:59 PM 08/7/2004
The "down under" country of Australia would be the stage for a classic close encounter on February 15, 1963. The quiet area of Willow Grove, near Moe, Victoria hosted the spread of one Charles Brew. As usual, Brew was up and on the job early in the morning.
His 20 year old son Trevor was working in their milking shed. Charles was standing in a field, admiring the sky.
The sun had been up for a time, but rain clouds threatened overhead. With an obstructed view of the eastern sky, Brew saw something very strange; a flying object began to descend toward the milking shed.
Brew's cattle and dogs began to react strangely as the object moved ever closer to the shed. A local newspaper, which later wrote a report on the Brews' encounter, mentioned the dogs reaction, but sensationalized the farm animals' reaction by stating that his cattle were doing somersaults. The Drews, of course, denied this fantastic claim.
The UFO had now descended to about 75 feet above the ground, and began to hover over a Stringy-Bark tree.
Close enough now for some guesswork, Brew estimated the craft was about 25 feet in diameter, and 10 feet in height. A transparent dome adorned the top of the craft, which had an antennae about 6 feet high.
The top portion of the craft itself was a grayish, and apparently metallic. The underside was a pale blue color, and had protuberances around the outside edge. The underbelly slowly rotated as the craft hovered, seemingly defying Earth's gravity.
A low "whoosh" sound came from the rotating part of the airship. Brew describes his eyes were drawn to the object, "as though beams of magnetic current" emanated from the UFO. Soon he suffered a headache, apparently from the force of the beams.
After a short period of hovering, the object started to climb to the west, disappearing into the clouds. Trevor never witnessed the craft itself, but did hear the strange sound that it made.
By the time that Brews' report went through channels, it was March 4 before he was officially interviewed. A Lieutenant Hudson and Squad Leader Javes of the RAAF discussed Brew's sighting with him thoroughly.
They were impressed with his story, and felt that he was a credible individual. The weather conditions at the time of the sighting: rain, low clouds, and poor visibility, effected the opinion of the investigators. Their report contained the following:
"On 6th March, Dr. Berson and Mr. Clark (of the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation) Meteorological Physics division) were interviewed to see if clouds could give this type of phenomenon.
They agreed that a tornado condition could give this effect. The direction of rotation of Brew's report of the object was consistent with known facts for the Southern Hemisphere.
The blue colouring has been reported previously and is probably due to electric discharge and there would be a smell of ozone.
The only difference in Brew's report was that the object moved from East to West because all previous reports to the CSIRO Met section of this nature have been from West to East. Mr. Brew stated that the wind was fresh from an easterly direction. However, (a) meteorological report states that wind was westerly at 8 knots."
The investigator also stated: "There is little doubt that Brew did witness something, and it is most likely that it was a natural phenomenon. The phenomenon was probably a tornado. There was no reported damage along its path, therefore one could assume that it was weak in nature."
A civilian UFO research group influenced the Department of Air to also investigate Brew's story. They issued the following statement:
"Our investigation and enquiries reveal that there are scientific records of certain tornado-like meteorological manifestations which have a similar appearance in many ways to whatever was seen by Mr. Brew.
The information available is such however, that while we accept this is a possibility, we are unable to come to any firm conclusion as to the nature of the object or manifestation reported."
The investigation's conclusion would list tornadic wind as the "possible" cause. A statement issued by the Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society declared: "we are unable to come to any firm conclusion as to the nature of the object or manifestation reported."
It seems clear that the RAAF were largely parroting the CSIRO's conclusions and taking things a little further without any realistic justification.
Dr. Berson, of the UFO research group, paid a visit to Brew to personally review the sighting. Berson stated that the headache Brew had was probably due to "electronic magnetic" activity.
Whatever "official" conclusions there were, it is apparent to me and surely any sane person, that a man with a credible reputation, and good common sense, could easily tell the difference between a flying saucer and a tornado.
Brew was less than impressed with the findings of the Australian governmental groups.
In his own words: "I wished it would come again. It was beautiful. I could feel the life pulsating from it."
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