The truth about the "Lost" Colony is that it was never lost or a mystery until 1937 after a fictional play was made about it.
People are under the false assumption that people from England came and landed on Roanoke Island in 1587 then went back and forth to Enland and at one point could not return when they thought they could because of a war with Spain. Then when they finally did return the colony on Roanoke had disappeared. The only clue as to what happened or where they went being English carved in a tree CROA.
That entire narrative is completely theater, literally. The massive information being omitted here is that there were prior voyages. This is what really happened.
First the English came over and landed on Hatteras Island. At that time the Island was called Croatoan. They landed right in the elbow of it where the modern Cape Hatteras lighthouse is now. That town today is called Buxton after judge Buxton named it after himself. Before that it was called the Cape and before that it was called Croatoan. Some places in modern day Nagshead have incorrectly written this as Croatan. They are missing an letter O. They are wrong. On all the maps from John White and all the maps we have of the area, it is clearly written Croatoan.
The English were living in Croatoan. They traded with the natives there. They brought Natrives from there back to England with them. One of these Indains was named Manteo. There is a town today on Roanoke Island named after him. the town of Manteo. But that does not change that fact that Manteo was from Croataon. In fact most of the locals never call Roanoke Roanoke, they called it Manteo because saying Roanoke sounds like you are going to Virginia.
Manteo is where the famous play about the Lost Colony is and where the myth really got spun into what it is today. Because of this silly play the Elizabethan colonies are refereed to now as the Roanoke colony. That was because David Quinn hired by the tourist commission to write a book on the topic, called it the Roanoke voyage. This is pure propaganda. Quinn knew it too. He cleverly placed an image of one of John White's maps as the cover of his book. The map which would have shon Croatoan and Roanoke was cut so that it only showed Roanoke. But it was a way of him saying to others he clearly had seen the whole map and knew the truth.
Croatoan would be on the left side of the map but he has cropped it out. But htis is proof he knew very well where Croatoan was and that it was not a mystery at all. But the town paying him wanted a story to sell. One reason was to protect Roanoake from the federal government which was going to turn it into a wildlife preserve. Hatteras and Kill Devil Hills were protected because of historical significance of the lighthouses and Wright Brothers Memorial. Roanoke had nothing. The Small trip the English took from Croatoan to Roanoke suddenly became a Roanoke only voyage historized by a fictional play.
Here are other maps, clearly showing Croatoan. Remember that is where they first landed and had been living on for 2 years before Roanoke.
Real map larger
Croatoan was no mystery. And what was written on the palisade was not Croa but the full word Croatoan. And that is where the "lost" colony went. They not only went there, they went BACK there.
But when you omit the prior voyages, and ignore the primary sources of the maps, and that they were traveling with Indians from this Island and had made them allies and trading partners and that Ralph Lane had pretty much alienated everyone else so that everyone but the Crotatoan wanted to kill them, then the story is confusing. But when you know where they had lived, who was allied with them, and that they literally wrote down where they were going, then there is no mystery at all other than what happened to them after they got back to Croatoan.
And my brother and a crew from the UK have been digging that up. Literally.