Video footage has been found in the north woods area of Burkittsville in Frederick County, believed to have been taken by the three missing Montgomery College students who disappeared there last year.
Eleven 16mm film canisters and ten video cassette tapes, containing footage of the last days of Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael Williams, were discovered during an archeological dig out in the woods.
The three film students were reportedly shooting a college project to document the local legend of the Blair Witch, a demonic being who steals children. The myth originated in the colonial era after settlers in the 18th century cast a woman out into the woodlands around the town to die, believing her to be a witch.
Whenever there has been an unfortunate sequence of events in the area, such as the tragic disappearance of a group of young children in the 1940’s, or the drowning of a young girl out in the woods in the latter part of the 19th century, there has always been a tendency amongst the superstitious community to blame the Blair Witch.
Lisa Toller, former girlfriend of Joshua Leonard, said: “I had this feeling that I didn’t want him to go off with [Heather]. I didn’t want him to go off for the whole weekend.”
Tom Williams, Michael’s brother, added: “The last night I saw Mike, he was really excited. He was all packed for the next day. We had coffee together and he didn’t really know too much about it, but that’s what he was going to find out.
“It was something he really felt that he loved doing. Doing the sound equipment stuff. I told him I wanted him to go out there and be happy, make yourself something.”
Unfortunately, Michael Williams, along with his fellow students, never returned home.
Over 100 volunteers and state officials joined local forces in a full scale search of the Black Hills area in October 1994. The search was called off after 10 days of investigations and thousands of man hours were unable to earth any clues as to the mysterious disappearance.
The only evidence found by police was Joshua Leonard’s car parked on Black Rock Road.
Roger Cravens, Burkittsville Sheriff, said: “We checked the car completely and never found any clues with the vehicle. We checked with witnesses that may have seen the film students and we could never locate them.”
The footage has aroused much suspicion with experts who are still unable to determine the exact cause of events that led to the disappearances.
The whereabouts of Heather, Joshua and Mike remain unknown.