Roanoke Island Weirdness

First official weird post!

So I think it’s safe to say that many Americans are at least a little familiar with the mysterious disappearance of the inhabitants of Roanoke Colony. I’ll give you a refresher if you’re not.

A Mr. John White helped found a colony on Roanoke Island in 1587, this one with men, women, and children. (The previous colony had been men only, as was the norm.) Sometime after it was established, John White returned to England to bascially get some stuff for the colony, and make known some of the troubles they were having (problems establishing friendly relationships with local tribes, who had never been very friendly with the English.) He couldn’t get back until three years later, literally.

You probably know how the rest goes. When John White returned, all he and his men found was the word “Croatoan” carved into a tree (actually into part of the fort.)

We've all seen this one. Thanks third grade history book!

No other trace of the colonists was found.

Barring all the gruesome stories of what might have happened to these individuals, there are a couple likely situations. White himself believed that by carving “Croatoan” into the wood, the colonists had left a message for him, telling him where they really went, Croatoan Island. (The name of the island now is Hatteras, where, you guessed it, stands the Cape Hatteras lighthouse.) This is a definite possibility. The colonists had some boats at their disposal, so they definitely had the means to head to another location. White left before looking, mostly because of a storm. Storms on the coast of North Carolina can and do get nasty, so I definitely understand him there. I would not be shocked at all if Hatteras is where these folks ended up.

Another definite possibility is that, through whatever situation, the colonists came to live with the local natives. A sad situation may have attracted the pity of the tribe. Also, the area has a high population of people who are American Indian descent. The interesting part is that there are a lot of them who were reported, even a long time ago, to have blue eyes, which isn’t a common trait. So it’s also a possibility that the colonists did somehow basically integrate into the tribe.

But do you remember the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and how he led all the children into a mountainside, never to be seen again?

There are a few who believe that the people of Roanoke Colony were led through a door in the earth, and the ground swallowed them up. This was only implied by a couple of folks I got in touch with, but these people swear that they’ve seen others open doors right where there shouldn’t be one at all. These people think that the odd blue eyes down at the coast came from something else entirely, and that the Roanoke Island colonists were led somewhere else, gone completely, leaving no traces behind but a word carved hastily into a post.

I suppose that we’ll never know.


6 responses

  1. morezennow

    That is bizzare, like people vanishing into the Devil’s Triangle. Did he never get to Croatoan (Hatteras) to check it out? I mean, did he ever go back? Or did it freak the heck out of him and he boogied for good? I bet they went to the island and then came back hungry and freezing and the natives helped them out. Very cool!

    March 21, 2012 at 10:07 pm

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