Roanoke colony mystery: Could this strange rock reveal the colonists’ fate?



Roanoke Colony bloodbath secrets revealed?

How new technology can unveil the secrets behind a rock which may be etchings, which give an idea of what happened on the ‘lost colony.’

Scientists plan to take a fresh look at an engraved rock is alleged to hold the key to the mysterious “lost colony” of Roanoke.

Described as “the coldest case in American history,” the fate of the more than 100 16th-century English colonists on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, has long baffled historians. The colonists’ disappearance is shrouded in mystery for centuries.

The settlers, including women and children, arrived on Roanoke Island in 1587, to help in the creation of America’s first English settlement. By 1590, however, the group was nowhere to be found, fuelling ongoing speculation about the mysterious disappearance.


The only clues left behind by the settlers were the words “Croatoan” and “Cro” carved into a fort’s gatepost and a tree in the neighborhood. This led to a theory that the settlers who fled 50 miles south to Hatteras Island, which was then known as Croatoan Island.

However, in 1937, a 21-pound rock with strange markings was found by a California man driving in the coast of North Carolina. In the first instance, taken to the history of the department of the University of Emory, the stone ended up in the possession of Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia. The stone was probably engraved with a message of one of the colonists, Eleanor White Dare, to her father, John White, governor of the colony.

White had returned to England in 1587 to ask help for the colony. Upon his return to Roanoke Island three years later, however, he was not able to find the settlers, who at that time included his grand-daughter Virginia Dare, the first English child born in “the New World”.

“Virginia Went Hence into Heaven 1591,” explains the engraving, written in the 16th-century English. “Father Soone After You Goe for England, Wee Cam Hither,” it notes on the back of the stone, adding that “Online Misarie & Warre,” resulted in the death of more than half of the colonists.

The engraving indicates that the remaining colonists were killed by “sheds, [wanted],” except for seven, who were taken captive.


The tourist who found the stone said that he found out that it is approximately 50 miles inland from Roanoke Island, according to National Geographic. This corresponds to the White account that the settlers had planned to move “fifty miles in the head.”

While initially praised as a major historic find, the question quickly arose as to the authenticity of the stone, and more than 40 other engraved stones which later surfaced and were acquired by Brenau.

While the majority of the so-called “Dare stones” are widely acknowledged to be bogus, the first stone, which supposedly carries a message from Eleanor White Dare, continues to fascinate historians.

National Geographic reports that the analysis of the stone by the University of North Carolina-Asheville in 2016, it turned out that the interior was bright white, while the exterior and the carvings are much darker.

Matthew Champion of the U. K. ‘ s Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey, told National Geographic that a freshly cut inscription “would appear bright white to the stone, especially on this type of stone, and it takes up a large part of the time for the whiteness to fade.”

The use of chemical substances to mask the color would have been difficult in the 1930s, according to Champion, and Ed Schrader, president of Brenau.

New technology for spotting oligo-elements and isotopes, as well as uv and multispectral photography, could also unlock the mysterious stone secrets, Eric Doehne, a Los Angeles art curator, told National Geographic.

While some experts are still skeptical about the stone’s authenticity, Brenau’s Schrader is said to be planning a comprehensive study of the artifact in the near future.

Brenau has not yet responded to a request for comment on this story from Fox News.

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