In 1590, an English colony on Roanoke Island disappeared without a trace. The only clue was a message carved on a fence post. While some think the settlers integrated with a local tribe, multiple leads suggest otherwise.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
In the late five, hundreds and Englishmen named John White established a settlement on Roanoke Island off the coast of North Carolina, but
while he was away on business the
entire colony vanished over four.
Hundred years later, we still can't figure out what happened.
To the Roanoke colony is the
american mystery. There are plenty of suspicious
characters a message carved into offence. Post and Pocahontas herself makes a cameo. It
does not get more epic than this, but as for what really
happened: the colonists, it's possible,
they were, never really lost. Maybe they were hidden.
This is supernatural a Spotify original from par cast. I'm your
Ashley flowers, every
Wednesday I'll be taking a deep dive into a real unexplained occurrence to try and figure out the truth. You can find all
of supernatural and all other originals from par cast for free on Spotify, and, if you like, what you're hearing reach out on
he spoke in Instagram at par, cast and twitter at Park ass network this week.
We're talking about the Roanoke colony in
fifteen. Ninety, this small english community, disappeared without a trace
day. No one knows what became of then the only clue left behind
was a message carved on a fence post
explore the mystery coming up, stay with us
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the story of the Roanoke colony begins in fifteen eighty seven with the English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh and explore
is a very loose term here
Raleigh is a massive, fuller and a chronic overdressed are two things that make him a favourite with Queen Elizabeth, the first to the point that she gives him permission to tax
the wine makers in England and presents him with a palace on the River Thames Elizabeth is great. I giving gifts and when Raleigh
half brother, the explorers to Humphrey Gilbert dies in fifteen. Eighty three, the queen, decides
Molly can inherit Gilberts Royal charter. It gives
permission to colonise America on behalf of the british crown all the queen one
in return is one fifth of whatever gold or silver Raleigh finds there to be clear.
It has no intention of letting Raleigh go to America himself, so instead
Raleigh picks a water color artist named John White to be the colonies governor, which is
bizarre. As it sounds white has now
obvious skills. Aside from painting to this day,
We don't even know where he was born or whose parents were all
All we know is heated company in at least one of rallies, other expeditions to America and he's excited
go again that enthusiasm is pretty much what gets white the John? Why
then recruits his pregnant daughter, nineteen year old, Eleanor Dear and her husband Anna nice to join him along with over one hundred men, women and children.
Supposed to head to Virginia Chesapeake Bay, where they'll build the first English settlement in the new world gum
white in the colonists set sail for Chesapeake on May eighth, one thousand five hundred and eighty seven they're all on board the lead ship. The lion, along with the captain of the fleet and experienced navigator name Simon Fernandez
has gone on a plenty of voyages for Sir Walter Raleigh before so. He knows his way around America's EAST Coast
he's, helping the lion followed by one smaller ship and one unnamed fly boat that carries all of the supplies. The colony needs to build a settlement at Chesapeake now governor. Why?
writes in his diary about their first day at sea and it sounds like everything is normal and then he just doesn't work
Lord anything else. Until May sixteen
days later, to be
every time. I've started a journal. It goes about the same, but in this entry white mentions that Fernandez allowed their fleet to disperse, causing them to lose track of the fly, but which is a huge problem. Fernando
just made a mistake that cost them all their supplies.
Seems like this is just part of an overall problem with Fernandez in White diary
writes about how anxious the navigator seems to get rid of colonists, so he can start privateering, which is basically crown sanction
rating against spanish ships and, while I'm sure that sounded like fun to him, Fernandez has a job to do also
Why is in charge of this entire expedition? He should be chewing Fernandez out for letting this happen, but
Instead, he does nothing. He writes a few.
Passive, aggressive diary entries, but apparently he's too much of a coward to actually challenge Fernandez.
Everyone just sort of hopes that the fly boat will meet up with them in America now took.
If the colonists aren't taking a direct shot to Chesapeake Bay, burst they're supposed to visit a play,
called Roanoke Island off the coast of Modern Day North Carolina weight
a specific orders from Sir Walter Raleigh to check in on fifteen english soldiers who were left in charge of the fort their delight.
In a rise in the shallow waters near Roanoke around July. Twenty second white and forty of his men,
into the smaller ship to go ashore, but just
they are about to seal off one of Fernand.
His men yells over to them from the lion he
sickly says this is our last stop when you guys
done with your little field trip. We are sending the rest of the colonists ashore with you, in other words
Fernandez is staging a mutiny, one that leaves governor White and his colonists stranded on Roanoke Island, which is
just mean and crazy. But again. Why here is this information and doesn't
and try to argue he just sort
sales off in a daze towards Roanoke to go look for the fifteen soldiers and things only gay.
More strange as the day goes on as white people,
up to Roanoke. He fully expects the english soldiers to have seen their ships and be waiting on shore.
But when the men splash onto the beach, nothing nowhere
coming committee, no pat on the back just dark, silent forest, and this totally creeps white out these-
english soldiers, they should be here following protocol. Something must be terribly wrong.
It, isn't sure what to make of this. But at this point
son, is setting. They have no other choice than to keep honey north toward where the fort is supposed to be, then right as it gets dark one of the men
comes across something terrifying. It's this
ton of an english soldier, half buried in the dirt.
Every one starts freaking out like has there been
ass occur. Why did this guy die and why was he never given a proper burial? And by this point it's too dark to reach the fort white?
His men have to sleep in the open air near this half buried dead guy, hoping that what
ever or whoever killed him. We'll leave them alone. The next day they press.
Onward until finally, they see the fort at the head, but when they get there the whole place is deserted.
White says it was raised down.
As though there were some kind of struggle, but the house's themselves are standing, unhurt and
Ellen. Vines are growing over everything with deer.
Knowing at the fruit like the entire
Your thing is just surreal at this point. Not only are white and his party crept out beer depressed.
No one wants to be forced to live on a strange island with a skeleton and an overgrown four and fourteen missing men. Fortunately
fly boat that had been lost at sea knew enough to head towards Roanoke for a rendezvous,
five. On July. Twenty th, so just three days after the lion and the colonists could weep with relief, the
Finally, have their seeds and other supplies like
The situation is still far from ideal, but at least they stand a chance of survival. Now, for the next couple of weeks, things limp along the colonists, our
Action at the fort and on August eighteen, Whites daughter Eleanor gives birth to a baby girl named Virginia, dare the first English per
and born in America, but as
comes to a close white and the colonists realise this isn't going to work
way too late in the summer to plant a harvest with winter. Upon,
something needs to be done asap.
I should mention that during this first month, Fernandez just kind of hang
around offshore on the lion. So apparently d,
by all his hurry to go loot, spanish ships, he's content to just sit and watch the colonists. Squirm mean the whole thing is just
theory, weird, fortunately
white gets the nerve to talk to him and the to come to an agreement. Why can hit your ride aboard the fly boat, which will take him back to England for help white leaves
the end of August and by the time his ship reaches England, it's November white is, is to to get supplies
get back to Roanoke, but just as he's ready to depart.
In the spring of fifteen eighty eight he hears
the worst possible news, England
at war with Spain, all vessels must be used.
To fight the spanish Armada, now again
Walter Raleigh, commissioned this entire expedition and he's the queen's favorite so over the next year,
He does managed to secure a couple supply ships to go back to Roanoke with White, but each time
they are met with some sort of bad luck, whether its french pie
its or nasty whether they always have to turn back
it's not until March fifteen. Ninety that White finally leaves England on a successful voyage. When he read
his Roanoke its August eighteen, Virginias, Virginia's, third birthday. Why can't
wait to see his granddaughter again but he's in for the worst case of deja VU ever because as
Is he sets foot on the island its clear? No one is there to meet him. The entire colony has vanished.
Will investigate the settlers disappearance right after this
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When Governor John White reaches Roanoke Island. No one is standing on the shore, not his
Eleanor or his granddaughter Virginia or any of the other colonists. This place is dead,
I note in his got that something is wrong. There were a hundred and seventeen settlers. Some one should have deaf
we noticed his ship approaching
He even sounds a trumpet call, but still no
answer so white,
The other men make their way inland toward the fort there.
Walking along through the overgrowth. When suddenly one of them lets out a yell white run,
over to see the other guy pointing at a tree. It has a strange.
Message carved into its trunk in all capital, letters, C, R, o chrome- it's been roughly chip in
the tree as though whoever road it was in a rush, and it seems like an unfinished were, it feels ominous
so white and his men cautiously make their way forward.
Until eventually they see the fort up ahead, just like three
years ago. The place is a band, not a soul in sight. Only this time, white, as the fort had been
neatly, disassemble like there wasn't,
rush in leaving at all
but the is surrounding the four, including whites and his daughter. Eleanor's, are in shambles, there's broken every
Rywhere as if they ve been smashed. None of this makes sense
but according to white, he had given clear instructions to the colonists before he left if they were
in danger. They were supposed to leave behind the scenes,
of maltese cross, which.
If you don't know, what that is just picture for arrows point
team at each other
and the other men look high and low, but there is no sign of the maltese cross. There is, however, one message: it's
On one of the fence posts surrounding the fort and its carved in all capital. Letters like the tree in the woods only this time, it's very clean and deliberate
says C r, o a t o a crow towing,
Immediately whites mine goes to one thing: the Croatoan
on the nearby Croatoan Island White has met these?
Aids multiple times before he knows there friendly. So at this point, white thinking the column
I have gone to live with the croatoan for survival, since they didn't have their own crops to eat in the winter of one thousand. Five hundred and eighty seven,
white has been to Croatoan Island himself. He knows that
not a long term. Solution like the soil isn't fertile and island is bare which, in the day
of english and spanish tension is not a good thing, you don't
build a settlement that exposed to telescopes on the high seas, but
there's only one way to find out right, just set sail the fifty.
Miles to Croatoan Island, but white never makes it there. Apparently his
ship was already down to its last anchor. The captain
eyes to head towards the Caribbean where they can recuperate, but the weather
So awful, it literally blows them back to Europe
When white arrives in England. He just gives up he's canoe.
He's been cursed by bad luck, so he literally moves to a farm in Ireland where he spends the rest of his life, just reflecting on quote the evils and unfortunate events that had happened to him, which I guess is fair,
still kind of odd that wages gives up all hope of
seeing his family again
even Sir Walter Raleigh sort of just let things go he's in no mood to foot and expensive voyage. Looking for people who, for all, he knows could be dead, it's not until
fifteen. Ninety nine nine years since the colonists were reported missing that Raleigh decide
to do something
he realizes he needs to prove that the settlers are still out there somewhere alive, otherwise
his charter could expire. He sends out
few voyages and supposedly most
them fail without ever reaching America, but one of them might
have actually made it. The captain
I named Samuel MACE finally returns to England in sixteen o three with urgent,
news for Raleigh. But at this point, is in
in four plodding against King James, the first and Captain MACE can't speak to him and as
as we know, mais never talks to any one else or write anything down to me.
It is one of the most infuriating parts of this story, like its past
Mace went to Roanoke or chrome toe in and he witten
something crazy there I mean he may have even solved the mystery, but there aren't even ship records from the voyage to say where mace had gone and
That alone is just really suspicious like was made.
On a secret mission for rally and if so, why. The whole thing just doesn't make any sense
The next twenty years pass with no answers, but most people in England think the colonies are still out there somewhere
keep in mind. This is the early sixteen hundred things like a leaf
abductions or time travel aren't casually discussed. It's hard to believe
Leave a hundred and seventeen settlers could have banished into thin air it
until sixteen o seven that a new theory comes to light thanks to a guy named John Smith, he's a founder of James town. The first part
in English settlement in Amerika. For the sake of his
Own colony, Smith, really wants to understand what happened at Roanoke
he meets with an influential chief named ten. Yes, the TAT Pocahontas.
Father and the leader of more than thirty native tribes,
sky literally has thousands of warriors at his back and call poet.
And tell Smid. He knows what happened to the settlers because he murdered them except power. Ten
doesn't say when or where this allegedly happened. It's also, and
er, whether he's referring to the colonists or, if he's claiming, to have murdered the fifteen english soldiers, speaking of which
I should mention that there have been claims that the fifteen soldiers were killed by a totally different tried in any case poet. Ten could be bluffing besides governor, why
didn't record any signs of struggle or a battle at the Roanoke Fort
idea than anyone murdered. A hundred and seventeen settlers without a trace just doesn't sit well, so Smith sends his
an expedition to Roanoke to poke around
for some unknown reason. The men turn around before they ever get there, and then disaster strikes
The reason Smith doesn't keep looking for. The Rono colony is because, from six
one thousand, eight hundred and nine to one thousand six hundred and ten, nearly half of his own people.
From drought and starvation, there's even ever
that they resorted to cannibalism, which, if you think about
The same thing could have happened to the Roanoke colony.
Recent evidence confirms that there was a terrible drought in the Roanoke region. It began in fifteen
Seven, the exact year the colonists landed in Roanoke and at last
for at least two years, no obviously
there weren't graves around the fort, but the drought is further evidence that the settlers could have joined forces with the crow aetolians or some other tribe for survival.
Day. When you mentioned the Rono colony, that's what most people will tell you, but there's actually plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise
for three hundred years after the colonists go missing. Nothing is found on Croatoan Island to indicate that they were. There then
in November of nineteen thirty, seven, a California grocer
Named Louis Hammond is taking a trip with his wife through the south.
Driving down North Carolina highway. Seventeen about fifty miles west
Oh no island, when here
decides to pull to the side of the road he wants to like poke around
didn't look in the woods for some hickory NUTS anyways Hammond
scanning the ground, when suddenly he comes across a strange stone its round and flat and weighs about twenty one pounds and
both sides are engraved in what appears to be early modern English. Most of it is hard to read, but ham.
as eyes are immediately drawn to a set of initials at the Bottom e w D. Eleanor White dare.
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the eye. Why dotcom slash supernatural? Now, let's get back to the story when
who is Hammond fines and inscribed stone on the side of highway seventeen? He has no idea what its significance might be, but
carvings on one side, are fairly easy to read. It signed G w D and at bay
thickly says Anna.
stare and Virginia went to Heaven in fifteen. Ninety one any
Englishman, show John White Governor of Virginia the side
it has much smaller letters and with all the old English Hammon, isn't sure what it says, but he realizes it could be valuable, so he puts it in his car.
As he and his wife drive through Georgia. They make a stop at Emory University, Hammond,
first to sell the stone to the college for one thousand dollars and one of the perfect
there's a guy named Doktor, Heyward, Pierce Junior, is definitely interested, especially
once he decipher the inscription on the other side, the words are a big convict,
You did, but they essentially say Father
after you went to England we came Here-
there was only misery and war for two years over half of us are dead.
The stone goes on to claim that native tribes had murdered everyone, including,
son in law, an anonymous and his granddaughter Virginia. So
you can imagine how Doktor Pierce is freaking out about this message: P w D.
Are clearly the initials for Eleanor White. Dare Governor White daughter like this could be the answer.
Pierce and some other Emory professors drive with him and to the spot where it was found that,
find any other rocks like it. But their convinced he's telling the truth then doktor peers,
does something pretty stupid. He reportedly advertisers
a five hundred dollar reward for anyone who finds a stone. Similar. To this I mean this is now
thirty, seven at the height of the great depression, so
Truly. A full light of similar stones comes in for
two in total, not counting the original and at first
in its exciting right, like so much information after centuries of silence,
even Hollywood director sessile, be de mille, gets wrapped up in the thrill alleged
de Mille, considers making a movie about the Roan O colony and so called dear stones, but ass the next few years past
researchers realize they can't track down. Louis him and the man who turned in the original stone
I also noticed that the other rocks had airs.
They mention names of settlers who were never on the voyage and they use
certain words that weren't part of the english language in the late fifteen hundreds then,
nineteen. Forty one, the Saturday evening posed publishes a damning expos ay a trace
is all of the stones except the original back to a guy who big surprise
a stone cutter by trade therein,
search community immediately loses bathed in the dare stones which are there
stowed in a basement upper now college in Georgia for the next seventy
five years? They collect dust, it's not
till two thousand. Sixteen that the President of Bernard College of Geologists named doktor, Ed shredder, takes a fresh interest
In the original DARE stone
traitor sends the stone out for testing and sure enough. The top layer of the rock is beery weathered compared to the inside, meaning the
graving was likely made hundred
years ago, quite possibly by
nor dare at least that's what doctors trader thinks
To this day, experts can't agree on whether the original DARE stone is authentic and honestly, I don't blame them.
Considering a more recent discovery, one that throws
when her white, sir,
to rally and the entire colony into question
in two thousand and eleven, a professor name, print lane was serving on the board of Burst Colony foundation. A nonprofit
Innovation dedicated to solving the Roanoke mystery as part of his reach.
Search. Lane visits the British Museum in London. He knows there exhibited
the Virginia Paris Map, which is a water color painting by Governor White White, painted the map around
fifteen eighty seven the same year. He and the colonists landed in Roanoke, and it clearly has two places that have been patched up
which isn't that remarkable paper patches were basically like the old, tiny version of white out but lanes
curiosity gets the best of him. He
The museum evade used, modern imaging techniques to look underneath the patches
the museum says no, we haven't, but their willing to try
can see straight through the patches to what's under me. The first
doesn't hide anything too remarkable, but this second past
conceals a mysterious symbol picture a red for pointed
star outlined in Blue it's locked
on an area of white's map. That's about fifty miles west of Roanoke on the North Carolina mainland archaeologists
Scramble to this location, which they call site, acts over the net
few years they uncover several native artifacts and a few english objects like a piece of pottery, but that's about it
it's definitely something, but still it doesn't feel like concrete proof,
But to me the most enticing part of this story isn't even the location of the symbol on white man. It's what it was painted way.
Researchers believe that the mark was originally created with some kind of invisible ink, possibly a mixture of milk and lemon juice or urine, but why? What was white trying to hide
As they say, there's a conspiracy theory for everything. So remember
Elizabeth deal with Sir Walter Raleigh. She went
one fifth of whatever gold or silver he found in Amerika well
or, as we know, rallies explores never brought back precious metals, but they found
another valuable commodity, sassafras
press is a north american herb that was used
to treat just about anything from acne to urinary, tracked infections to syphilis native em
Ricans liked it and Europeans loved it?
We also know that previous expeditions by Raleigh had reported sassafras in the new world so picture. This Raleigh
things out, there's sassafras fifty miles inland from Roanoke, so he
officially sends white in the colonist to Chesapeake Bay. When off the record, the plan is to leave them at Roanoke.
Plays along writing that his colony was mutinied, but when they
get your Roanoke, he realizes. He needs more supplies from England. He
was the settlers to go ahead and travel to the secret place on his map and the colonists
Disassembled, Roanoke, Fort and split up. Most of them
go inland while a few relocate to the Croatoan island in, in other words,
lost colony was actually lost. They actually right
On a secret operation transporting sassafras from the mainland to seek report. A crow towing were
these explores people like the mistake,
captain Meis would pick it up
Then, in sixteen eighteen raleigh dies all
Information about the colony dies with him and over time the settlers go native blending in with local tribes. Now the only problem
with this theory, is that it is sheer hypothesis, it's just as possible that the
Colonists really were murdered either
Roanoke or after they left
or maybe they really did go live with the crow atoned for survival to this day there are excuse.
Happening at Croatoan Island, currently known as Hatteras Island archaeologists are looking for any trace of the lost colony and so far they found a few things like a sixteenth century. Writing slate and a rapier
to me the best a clue is from seventeen o one about one hundred years after the settlers disappeared,
explorer named John Lawson, writes that he visited Croatoan. He says the people there spoke
about white ancestors, who could talk in a book or right and he could
to have seen an occasional native with fair, hair and gray eyes. Of course, we have to take losses.
at his word, just like we have to take governor white at his word about the
being abandoned and the message in the fence post, but maybe the most suspicious
of this entire story and the reason it still so intriguing after four hundred years is that we still can't find any trace of the Roanoke Fort the place where the disappearance actually happened. So just what exactly went on there. Well, that depends which history book you pick up
thanks for listening I'll, be back next week with another episode you can find.
All episodes of supernatural and all other originals from par cast for free on Spotify, and if you like, this show follow at par, cast on Facebook and Instagram at PAR cast network on Twitter.
Supernatural was created by MAX Cutler and Stars Ashley flowers and is a park as studios original, it is exists,
he'd have produced by MAX Cutler Sound designed by carry Murphy with production assistance by IRAN, Shapiro Carly mad. This episode,
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Transcript generated on 2020-11-18.