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Charles Brew’s UFO encounter in Willow Grove

One overcast morning on a family owned farm near Moe in Australia, a farmer would experience a close-up encounter with a mysterious UFO over his land. His son, although he didn’t see the strange craft, would hear the aerial visitation as he went about his farm duties.

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It was an encounter that had a considerable amount of news coverage at the time, as well as an incident with several separate investigations as each UFO researcher would attempt to see something the others hadn’t. And, perhaps most importantly, an incident that remains unexplained still today.

Maybe what is also interesting is at the time there were increasing calls upon the Australian military from several politicians to declassify their UFO files.

This is something they steadfastly refused to do, claiming that while most were insignificant and easily explained, a small percentage would be a threat to national security should they reveal their contents in full.

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Needless to say, some people immediately claimed a cover-up was in operation. And furthermore, many are still of that opinion today.

And while the Willow Grove sighting itself was an incident only several minutes long, perhaps the most interesting thing was the apparent desire on the Australian military’s part to “find” an explanation for the sighting, rather than disclose anything more.

A Metallic Object Out Of The Grey Clouds

It was a little after 7 am on the 15th February 1963 when Charles Brew was about to undertake his usual daily chores on the family-owned, Willow Grove Farm, near Moe, Australia.

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On this morning, along with his twenty-year-old son, Trevor, the skies overhead were grey and pregnant with rain, some of which was lightly falling as they made their way from the farmhouse to the milking sheds.

Leaving Trevor to start the milking machinery, Charles stepped outside into an open area just outside of the shed. As he did so he immediately noticed a strange object in the overcast sky.

It was slowly descending and heading in the farm’s direction. The closer the aerial anomaly came to the farm the cattle and nearby horses began to become rapidly agitated. The two farm dogs, who were never far from Charles’s side, would take off looking for cover, obviously disturbed by the fast approaching object.

It stopped at about thirty yards from the ground, hovering just over the trees at the edge of the field. Charles would later estimate it to be around ten feet high and around twenty-five feet across. It was a distinct disc-shape with a transparent glass-like dome on the upper half.

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The rest of the upper exterior was of a metallic battleship grey material. The underside had a bright, blue glow to it. Around the edge was a “scoop-like protuberances” which rotated around the craft.

As they did so, an audible “swishing” noise filled the air. Inside the milking shed, Trevor, until then unaware of anything untoward, also became aware of the strange sound.

Brew UFO sketch (Image credit:

The “Aftereffects” Of A Tornado?

When Charles would attempt to avert his gaze from the otherworldly object he realized that he was apparently drawn to it. He would later state this was “as though beams of magnetic current” were present between himself and the craft.

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At the same time, he also noticed an intense headache begin building in him. It appeared the longer the craft was there, the more intense the pain in his head became.

Although it only hovered for several seconds, the pain in his head made it feel much longer. Eventually, the object began to ascend, climbing high above him and eventually vanishing into one of the thick banks of cloud above.

By the time Trevor emerged from the milking shed, the object was gone. He would, however, confirm the intense swishing sound, which he would describe as like a “didgeridoo or bull-roarer”.

Charles would report the sightings, prompting a visit from the RAAF. Flight Lieutenant Hudson and Squadron Leader Javes would interview Charles and Trevor at considerable length. They would regard them as very credible witnesses.

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However, whether intentionally or merely through their own “opinion” of the most likely scenario, they would focus on the dreary weather conditions during the sighting.

To them, Charles suspected, they believed some kind of natural weather phenomenon was likely to blame for the sighting. In fact, several weeks later, they would suggest, through meteorologist, Dr. Benson, that what Charles had seen, and Trevor had heard, was the aftereffects of a tornado, further suggesting that the blue underside was “electrical discharge” from the storm.

Even the headache experienced by Charles was put to the “electromagnetic nature” of the storm.

In fact, it appears the RAAF would go out of their way to find and provide proof of their claim.

“I Wish It Would Come Again!”

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While Charles Brew didn’t say as much, he rather dismissively responded to the notion that what he saw was purely natural phenomenon as a result of an electrical storm by saying, “I wish it would come again. It was beautiful. I could feel the life pulsating from it”.

Several UFO researchers would examine the case over the years since. One of them, American UFO researcher, Dr. James McDonald, would visit with Charles Brew in 1967 during his speaking tour of Australia.

He would attend the site of the incident. And further offer the sighting, like many others, is “extremely difficult to explain in present-day scientific or technological terms”. With that in mind, it would seem he too had doubt as to the “tornado explanation”.

A local UFO group would also express doubt that phenomena from a tornado was likely what Charles Brew witnessed. Although they would concede such phenomenon could occur, they were “unable to come to any conclusion” regarding the incident. They did, though, find Charles Brew to be an extremely credible witness.

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That does, however, remain the official explanation for the incident. That what Charles Brew witnessed that early morning in February 1963 was likely the result of a “tornado-like meteorological manifestation”.

As we have examined on several occasions, Australia is as much of a hotbed of activity as anywhere else on the planet, with sightings along the Bass Strait, strange goings-on at the Pine Gap Facility, as well as such waves of sightings like that of 1972.

The video below features an interview with Australian UFO researcher, Paul Dean.

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Source: From Deep Within The Archives Of UFO Insight: History’s Most Bizarre, Outlandish, And Controversial UFO And Alien Encounters! by Marcus Lowth

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Zoe Mitchell

Zoe Mitchell is an independent researcher and writer on extraordinary topics. She has a passion for delving into the realms of UFOs, paranormal phenomena and the enigmatic.

Zoe has a degree in journalism and a keen interest in history, mythology and folklore. She believes that there is more to reality than meets the eye, and that the truth is often stranger than fiction.

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