When we think of unsolved mysteries, most of us think of the show that aired back in the late 80s. Many people grew up knowing the sound of the theme song as it started up in anticipation of yet another round of eerie, unsolved cases and unexplainable events to be foretold. Despite this, many forget that the biggest unsolved mystery in the history of the US started with one word: Croatan.

There have been many theories about the original settlement that seemingly just disappeared out of thin air, taking with it all of its settlers as well as any sign of life. This disappearance took place before the colonies were established in the 1600s and involved a total of 115 people, all of whom were settled just off the coast of North Carolina. While many theories have been put into play in terms of how an entire village of people could have just vanished, they differ across the map - some believe that it was a disease that ravaged the town while others believe that the Native Americans who lived not far from the newcomers could have played a part in the disappearance of Roanoke.


The Settlement Of The Village

In 1587, 115 people set out for America in search of a better home and a new place to settle. Roanoake Island is where they landed and it would become a safe haven - or so it was thought. This new colony would go down in history as one of the first attempts at a settlement although it wouldn't exactly go as planned. During that time, a man by the name of John White was elected to be the governor of the newly-formed town. Life in Roanoke was seemingly fine on the outside until White was called away to England in order to gather more supplies for the colony. However, in an incredibly tragic twist of fate, the timing proved to be terrible: Queen Elizabeth I was taking on the Spanish Armada. This resulted in every ship in the region being used for one purpose alone, which left White stranded in England for a total of three years.

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The Eventual Return Home

After three years of England's fighting, White was finally able to sail home to Roanoke Island. He was forced to leave behind his wife and daughter, Virginia Dare, who would be known as the first healthy child to be born in the Americas. When he'd left, the colony was fairly well-rooted on Roanoke Island, which is what made the next event confusing to both White, as well as experts who look back on the whole event. White came home to find not only his wife and daughter missing but the entire colony as well. There were no clues that could offer direction to White in terms of where his family disappeared to and as for the rest of the village, no one left so much as a note or a hint of why they vanished. To this day, the only thing known about the mass disappearance of the entire town is the fact that the word 'Croatan' was carved into a nearby post.

The Theories

For centuries, experts have been trying to figure out what happened on Roanoake and decipher the mystery of 'Croatan.' While it's known that the Native American tribe that lived near the settlement also went by the name of 'Croatan,' the fact that no village members were ever found begs even more questions. While some do believe that the tribe kidnapped and possibly killed the village members, this was never able to be proven, nor were any clues pointing to this ever confirmed. Another theory is that the village members attempted sailing back to England on their own, which wouldn't be too farfetched as they would have likely run out of supplies eventually. It's said that if this were the case, it wouldn't have been uncommon for them to meet an untimely end while out to sea, which would explain the lack of evidence for their ever having lived in Roanoke at all.

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Some believe that the Spaniards may have even gotten to them, coming up by way of Florida. However, one would think that there would have been signs of some kind of struggle, especially since the entire town was gone. In contrast to all of that, some believe there may have been a happier ending for the village, with its members potentially moving further inland and joining up with a friendly tribe, who would have taken them in and cared for them. The mystery might never be solved but one thing is for certain: It will remain one of the US's most puzzling tales.

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