The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island

The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island (Image 1)

Whatever happened to the lost colony of Roanoke Island?  Radar unearths clues to American mystery.

Back in 1580s, Queen Elizabeth I and explorer Sir Walter Raleigh tried to establish England's first colony on the northeast coast of America.  But something went terribly wrong. 

There were 120 settlers… men, women and children.  They all simply vanished.  Some believe they were massacred by native American Indians.  But no one really knows. 

Well, now researchers may be a little closer to solving the mystery.  They are using magnetometers and ground-penetrating radar (GPR).

Now when you hear the word radar, you may think of what I use each night… Live Hargray Titan Radar.  But this is a little different. 

Normal radar sends out radio waves to determine the location of an object.  Doppler radar does two things.  First, Doppler radar finds the location of an object or storm.  Then it uses what's known as the Doppler Effect where it can determine how fast it's moving toward or away from the radar. 

Either way, radar helps you find what you are looking for. 

Just last year, a centuries-old map of the Roanoke Island colony drawn by a man on that voyage rekindled interest.  Tests found a hint at the possible location. 

Tanya Basu from National Geographic is a research associate at Elizabeth City State University of North Carolina.  She came up with the idea to use GPR alongside the map. 

So now researchers are working to identify spots on the map that match with today's landscape.  After this happens, they will search the site with GPR.  This can find objects as much as 13 feet below ground. 

Maybe it's only a matter of time that they mystery is solved. 





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