Still searching for the Lost Colony of Roanoke





George Ray trudged for two hours through thick vegetation to a blurry mark found on Google Earth.

Mr. Ray is one of the many amateur archaeologists entranced by the Lost Colony — the 117 English settlers who disappeared from North Carolina's Outer Banks in the late 1500s, having left behind only a single clue to their fate. In all the years since, no one has found much of anything else.

But there have long been stories told about a rotting boat in the Great Dismal Swamp, a national wildlife refuge that straddles North Carolina's border with Virginia. Mr. Ray's colleagues think the colonists may have passed through the swamp after leaving Roanoke Island. They studied satellite images until they found something that looked like a boat, then set out to find it.

"We're not looking for gold," Mr. Ray said. "We're looking for history."


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