The disappearance of the Roanoke Colony in Virginia is America’s oldest mystery. It is normally described as “they disappeared without a trace, other than a carving of the word CROATAN on a fence post.” None of the colonists were ever found, though several people later told John Smith (Mr. Pocahontas) they had seen a few people wearing English clothing years later in other parts of Virginia.
This story never made much sense to me, because had the Roanoke colonists left peacefully and resettled, their presence would have been well known. Here is a typical content-free discussion from National Geographic.
Most researchers think the colonists likely encountered disease—caused by New World microbes their bodies had never encountered before—or violence. The research team thinks that when the crisis—whatever that may have been—hit, the colonists split up into smaller groups and dispersed.
The National Geographic article contains nothing of any substance, just like their climate articles. But I just found this 1838 article by a man who surveyed the fort in 1816. He said there were two huge piles of bones found on the river bank just under the fort, and that the settlers were probably massacred by Indians right after they left Roanoke to move to Croaton Island. He also believed that his evidence of this was probably ignored.
Why don’t current historians mention these huge piles of bones near the fort?