The Hide and Seek Game of 1587

Where did I put it? Is it over here or over there? Maybe I just misplaced it. We’ve all experienced losing something of ours and not knowing where it is. I myself have done this multiple times and it stresses me out. I am the type of person to put something in the exact same spot, so I never lose it, but it does happen to me occasionally. Sometimes I do end up finding it and sometimes I never do. When I was a young kid, I would lose toys and not be able to find them. If it was a toy that shot something, and I saw the projectile fly behind something I knew there couldn’t be that many places to look. I would always wonder how I couldn’t find it even though I knew where it was generally located, and it bothers me to this day that I could never find it.

A unique interest of mine is famous disappearances or mysteries that remain unsolved to this day because I become filled with so much curiosity that it eats away at me. I probably got this from the connection of losing my toys when I was young and not being able to find out where they were. Some specific mysteries that I love are the Flannan Isles Lighthouse mystery or the disappearance of Brian Schaffer. My favorite one of all though, is the lost colony of the island of Roanoke. I do not remember specifically when I learned about this story but from what I recall it was about 8 years ago. Something about it just intrigued me and I have been attached to this mystery ever since. What intrigued me maybe, was how old this mystery is. Most unsolved mysteries today are a few decades to maybe a couple centuries old. This mystery dating back to the 16th century is almost unheard of. From what I remember this is what happened.

It was the late 1500s and Governor Ralph Lane founded a colony on Roanoke Island in 1585. However, the settlement there was unsuccessful, so a second attempt was made in 1587. This time the expedition was led by John White. They traveled from England back to Roanoke Island where they had been just two years prior. This time the colony was successful in settling on Roanoke Island. After a short while, supplies began to run scarce. White decided to travel back to England and return with supplies in a few months. That is not what happened though. When White returned to England, England was involved in the Anglo-Spanish War. This prevented White from returning to Roanoke Island for three years. The year was now 1590. White eventually made his return to the Island of Roanoke but to his surprise the island was completely abandoned. There was absolutely no trace of White’s colony. There was a deafening silence around the entire island. The only clue as to what happened was the one famous word etched into a wooden fence post on the outside borders of the island which was the word Croatoan. Everyone saw the houses had been demolished and all belongings had vanished, including some belongings of White which were buried all the way back in 1587. White also discovered the boats were gone causing everyone to suspect that the colony had indeed left for Croatoan Island, an island not far away. A search party was made, and everyone attempted to go to Croatoan Island but one of the anchors of the ship broke off which stalled their efforts. They eventually returned to England in late 1590 and never made it to the island. The reason as to why they never made it to the island remains unclear.

Investigations have been done throughout the years and there is still no concrete evidence as to what really happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke. There is speculation that the colony was wiped out by a native tribe. Another theory is that the Colony attempted to

return to England but drowned at sea due to a massive storm. If I could go back in time, I would travel all the way back to 1587 and go to Roanoke Island, just so I could see for myself what really happened to the colony. I will still on occasion look up the story online just to see if anything has been uncovered but to my amazement, nothing has still yet to be found. I like to imagine that the colony was just playing a game of hide and seek, but for some reason, have never been found. If they could come back from their graves, I would think they would say, “Please keep looking for us.”

The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island disappeared from the island somewhere between 1587-1590. No one to this day knows what happened to them. There is lots of speculation as to what happened, but there is no definite answer. But because this mystery is still unsolved, that is what I think keeps me thinking about it. If an answer is ever discovered, I hope I will still be around to find out what it is

Michael Eckstein is the author of this piece.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: