Hopefully you have all seen the Blair Witch Project (1999), which was the first wildly successful “Shaky Cam” film. The idea is to record a “real life” situation with a camcorder, where something goes wrong or not as planned. Every millennial and their mother has tried something like this at some point in their film game. As long as the acting is decent or completely ridiculous, these films can be wildly entertaining.
What is different about the “Jersey Devil Project”, (our nickname for these events) was that there was a decent sized film-crew working on it. The leader of the expedition was a man named Bart Andrews, and he was a hero. Andrews might have been the first in modern times to discover the Jersey Devil’s menacing influence. It was said that one of Bart’s best friends was corrupted by the Jersey Devil. Andrews became determined to prove the creature’s existence.
One thing Mr. Andrews understood was that people need to be shown the truth, in a clear and obvious way. His plan was to trap the Jersey Devil by luring it to an unfamiliar spot. The reason for this is that while the Jersey Devil has the ability to disappear, if it does not know the area, it runs the risk of reappearing in the middle of a wall which could split it in half.
The story goes that Bart Andrews traveled to South Jersey and began partaking in specific devious activities, ones that were certain to draw the monster out. After a few days he caught a tail. Bart Andrews led his follower on an elaborate chase through the town in South Jersey and into the basement of a house that happened to share its backyard with a church. The basement of the church could be reached from the basement of the house.
Bart had a crew that consisted of two cameramen, one photographer, and 2 production assistants. The film cameras were set up on both sides of the church basement with lots of lighting to guarantee a live action shot of the monster. The photographer, who was also a war photographer, placed himself along pre-determined checkpoints to get photos of the chase.
The photographer was the only member of the group to survive this encounter because he was not tasked with following Bart into the basement.
According to reports, it is unclear what caused the deaths of Bart Andrews and his crew. The bodies were discovered by the a member of the church early the next day. Police on the scene described the bodies as “badly beaten” and that it looked like an ambush.
When the photographer developed his film, he was mortified to find Bart Andrews alone in all of the pictures. The photographer maintained that he had caught pictures of the person who was following Bart through town multiple times and from multiple angles. He could not give any solid details on the subject because he was concentrating on getting the photographs.
“Honestly, I was hoping to get a good look at the person following Bart when I finally saw the photos. I couldn’t tell you who the follower was from Adam. The person's face kept changing.”
One photograph of the crew setting up was a bit suspect.
According to the photographer, this woman, who the crew called “Kate” was the second production assistant. She had already been on the team when the photographer was hired. He described her as “early twenties, very quiet”. She had apparently been hired by Bart after running away from an abusive home. Bart was very protective of her.
We showed the photographer our pictures of Maria Roosevelt and Marie Clapper. He told us there was a striking similarity and that the production assistant "Kate" and the girls in our pictures looked “incredibly alike".
Official Reports from the scene would not release the number of bodies that were discovered.