The mystery behind the "lost colony" of Roanoke has finally been answered, and it's honestly kind of disappointing.

This was a gag in the film “The Bingo Long Traveling All Stars and Motor Kings.”

Pretty good movie that always makes those “best baseball movies of all time” lists.


Sorry if someone has already mentioned this before and I missed it. I see this concocted “mystery” as pretty deeply rooted in systemic racism and colonialism. If your entire world view is that your own societal structure and lifestyle is the superior/correct one, then it’s unthinkable that a group of people would voluntarily give that up forever, right? There MUST have been something spooky and mysterious at work!


There was a reason that these settlers left England; they either didn’t have any opportunities to have a better life where they were or weren’t happy with the entire British empire politically or socially. It’s not a big stretch to find the new land that they were roughing it in had people that didn’t have the old caste system and rotten politics/government.
Why wouldn’t you get along with and intermarry with the nicer people that you met without the world you left behind having any say in your affairs?


Btw, if any of you watched Time Team or Coast back in the day, you will be familiar with Mark Horton, the project lead.


Pretty much any discussion of European settlement of the New World has the subtext of racism and the basic greed of colonialism, but I think in this case there is also the issue of long trans-Atlantic travel, poor mapping of North America, a war in Europe, and the very few searches giving up too quickly. “We couldn’t find them, so they therefore must have disappeared!


Well, yes. But there are several common dynamics at play, too: people explaining away dark skin with tales of Native ancestry when they didn’t actually have any (partial Native ancestry still allowed one to be “white”), and “Cherokee” becoming the lineage claimed by many people with completely unrelated Native American ancestry because they were viewed as the “civilized” tribe. So if people claimed an imaginary Native background, they’d pick Cherokee by default.

I’ve seen it in my own family: I grew up with the understanding that one of my ancestors was “Cherokee” and wondered if that included Black ancestry. That turned out to be the wrong question: DNA testing revealed that part of the family didn’t have any Native ancestry at all, but did have African ancestry and genealogy work uncovered a family member described in the census as “black.” The imaginary Native ancestor had not just been declared Cherokee, but further embellished as a “chief” who led his people on the Trail of Tears. It was all family mythologizing, hiding a truth so unpalatable they couldn’t acknowledge it themselves, and/or filling in gaps where solitary migration and untimely deaths led to people not knowing their own family histories (never having met one parent or their family).


I thought that, because of the issues generic_name mentioned above, the colony was never properly followed up on, and the “mysterious disappearance” became the narrative. After that, nobody cared for centuries, by which point it was very difficult to actually prove any theories, no matter how obvious.


people from different places and races helping each other is disappointing? i don’t think so.


The wikipedia page on the colony notes that Sir Walter Raleigh at one point claimed to have searched for them, only to later admit he used that as an excuse to try and find El Dorado in South America. It’s unclear to me if any really serious determined search expedition ever took place.


And sometimes it goes backwards and it’s equally terrible. North Carolina’s Lumbee tribe was denied normal rights and privileges afforded indigenous peoples, as I understand it, in part based on a rumor that the Lumbee weren’t in fact native, but a bunch of escaped slaves who may have mixed in with a couple natives. I believe they still aren’t recognized federally.



Wow, mine was a “princess”! Maybe we’re related!

ETA: I just remembered that this is still a major issue for the Ramapough people of New Jersey. Because of so much intermingling, governments and people in power have been trying to delegitimization their heritage for a long time.


I thought that was the other way around. As a Black Southerner I and most people I grew up around had at least one story of a Native ancestor that more than likely was pure fiction. It feels good to align with a culture that fought back against colonizers rather than acknowledge your ancestors were raped.


Oh man I wish there was an automatic camera included in dna results to capture their faces right when they first see that African heritage :astonished::exploding_head:



They were wiped out by the Croatoan Virus.


Deservedly so. I loved it as a kid and still do.


The original message said, WE MOVED! CHECK US OUT ON CROATOAN but the rock got cut off. Not the first or the last time a truncated message led to confusion.


How many of you have been to the site? The NC Outer Banks are not a “nice” beach area and where the “Lost Colony” decided to setup camp was no exception.

Given the shitty soil conditions.and exposure to an impending fall hurricane, you have equal odds of death by starvation or being wiped away by an F2+. Ultimately it makes the most sense that with an impending collapse of the colony they would reach out to the natives for help. After seeing the area I realized the natives never needed to attack the colony (in school that was thrown out as a far possibility), they could have just not offered them help.


Yep… I mean… ALIENS… :roll_eyes:

Pretty much, yeah.