The 1973 Braden River UFO Incident

First Published: September 9, 2019 Written by: Marcus Lowth Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes Posted in: Conspiracy

The year 1973, as we have mentioned on several occasions, was one rife with UFO activity and alien encounters. One of those encounters, while taking place at the very end of those wave of sightings, and only lasting for several seconds with no interaction between the apparent intelligence behind the craft and the witnesses, would unfold one December evening in the Sunshine State of Florida.

The encounter, while perhaps not the most explosive of incidents, is one that has several clear details, relating to both the movements and dynamics of the craft, as well as, potentially, clearer notions as to why they are here in the first place. What’s more, the incident was witnessed by two other people, both of which would give their name to the report, and both of which would see the incident at the same time but from differing angles.

The incident comes to us courtesy of the MUFON UFO Symposium Proceedings of 1974. And perhaps because of this, the encounter would appear to have a certain amount of credibility to it. Furthermore, the names of the witnesses were also included in the report which, as much as there is a frustrated but understandable acceptance that such witnesses would wish to remain anonymous, adds a further level of authenticity to the account. Further still, as we will examine, around six months previously, a similar craft was viewed off the Florida coast by witnesses on a United States Navy vessel.

A Shining Disc With A Tube Stretching To The Water

The Braden River incident would take place on the evening of 13th December 1973, a little before 9 pm. On the night in question, Patrick Thrush was driving near the Braden River in Bradenton, Florida, when he noticed a strange light descending overhead.

At first, Thrush thought he was witnessing a small aircraft in distress. However, by the time he had made attempts to head in its direction the object was no longer there. Confronted by this bizarre situation, Thrush would turn the vehicle toward the river. Upon reaching the water’s edge, he would begin to turn the car so he could park it.

However, as he did so, the headlights cut into the night before them and hit an apparent metallic surface. What’s more, this silvery surface was seemingly hovering above the water. When he looked more closely, he could clearly see a disc-shaped object, approximately 20 feet above the surface of the water.

Even stranger, a tube reached out from the underside of the craft to the water below. It wasn’t clear to the witnesses exactly what the tube was for, or what was taking place.

This is an extremely interesting detail, though. Particularly as it suggests some type of water extraction. More UFO sightings than not or over or near large amounts of water, whether natural like a river or manmade like a water tower.

An Inspection From The River Bank

As he continued to watch the bizarre scenario unfold in front of him, Thrush suddenly recalled the Canon camera in his car. He would snap off two shots in succession.

Whether coincidentally or not, at the same time as the Thrush took the pictures, the tube began to retract back into the underbelly of the silver craft. Then, with the tube no longer visible, the object moved in his direction. It was at this point when Thrush realized just how vulnerable and exposed he actually was. Furthermore, the object was pretty much directly over the top of him.

Suddenly, the sound of machine-like “clanks” rang out. Then, a splash like something hitting the water. Thrush guessed that something had dropped from this mysterious object into the river below.

Several moments later, the object came completely over to the riverbank and then toward the parked car. It seemingly avoided a collision with it but the sound of something striking the framework of the vehicle rang out a moment later.

As the men continued to follow the path of the now moving object, it appeared to curve away into the sky toward the west of their location. Furthermore, they noticed that the object began to change color the faster it moved, going from a blue-green color to an orange-red color. Once more, this detail is very much in sympathy with many other accounts of disc-like objects. This suggests the colors on display very much have a connection to the propulsion systems of these apparently otherworldly crafts.

The Strange, And Still Warm Rocks Left Behind

Whether of consequence or not, Thrush would discover three strange rocks near their car where the object had hovered. Furthermore, despite the coldness of the night, the rocks themselves were perfectly warm and dry.

Even more bizarre, when these rocks were analyzed following Thrush handing two of them over to authorities, they were discovered to be of a kind that was native to areas of South America. Had they been transported to Florida, intentionally or not by the strange craft?

What’s more, another witness would report a sighting of a similar object on the same evening. Approximately two miles away from the three men’s location, John Dowdy would witness a strange orange object as he drove his car at a little before 9 pm. It was, according to Dowdy, moving at an accelerated pace. The strange craft would suddenly stop momentarily before disappearing.

At the same time as the above accounts, a third witness, George Montgomery happened to be looking out of his window. When he did so, he saw a bizarre, glowing light in the skies overhead. When he looked a little closer, he could see a “bright light with smaller lights above and below it”. Then, after several seconds, the lights merged as one and vanished into the night sky.

Before we move on, check out the documentary below. It looks at some of the UFO sightings from 1973.

Is Earth A Lone Source Of Energy For Alien Life?

As we mentioned at the beginning, while certainly not the most explosive UFO incident by any stretch of the imagination, the encounter over the Braden River is one that seemingly oozes with credibility. Not least due to the details concerning its movements and the correlation between the craft’s glow and the color of it, as well as the fact that incident itself was yet another one of apparently extracting water from the planet’s river’s lakes, and seas.

Are these apparent missions to our planet from outer space ones to collect water? From the (relatively speaking) vast resources the Earth contains? And if that is the case, what does that mean for not only the future of our planet and humanity but the genuine “risk” of invasion from such an outside source due to the apparent universal need for resources?

Furthermore, is it that the presence of water is so rare, at least in our part of the solar system, that extraterrestrial space-faring life comes here to obtain it? And is this the case throughout the universe? Or is our planet some kind of cosmic version of a convenient and lone petrol station on a long and lonely highway?

If all of these things are correct, is water required in the way that we might require it live? Or, might this essential life-giving liquid for us be a source of energy and propulsion to others? As unlikely as such scenarios very well may be, even the possibility of them should force us to look at how we might overcome, and if necessary, confront such problems.

The USS Independence Incident, June 1973

With this last point in mind, then, perhaps it is worth examining quickly another incident. One that occurred just off the coast of Florida. In the area better known as the Bermuda Triangle on board the USS Independence in June 1973. While there may or may not be a connection, the fact the incident unfolded only six months before the Braden River incident at a location only a (relative) stone’s throw away, over water, no less, is certainly worth us including it here.

The incident took place in the early hours one morning, at around 1 am. The main witness was an anonymous refueling technician. He was on the ship’s deck when he noticed a “very bright light” coming from underneath the water. According to the witness, this mystery object was gigantic. He would make a comparison to a paperclip held in a hand. With it being the ship and the hand being the strange craft.

He continued to watch the craft it moved out in front of the ship. The light glowing and lighting up the water as it did so. Then, it emerged from the water and into the air. As it did so, the witness and the others who had since come out on deck to watch the extraordinary events were almost blinded by the intensity and brightness of the light.

Then, in a moment, literally a fraction of a second, it was gone. It simply vanished at an unthinkable pace. So large was the object that the witness would describe feeling disorientated and confused by its mere presence.

Check out the video below. It looks at the USS Independence incident a little further. An interesting incident in its own right. And one that might have a connection to the Braden River sighting.


The stories, accounts, and discussion in this article are not always based on proven facts and may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports and accounts available to us as provided by witnesses and documentation.

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About Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years experience. Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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