There are many other theories about what happened to the Roanoke settlers, from a Spanish raid to falling victim to a conspiracy to ruin Roanoke’s original settler, Sir Walter Raleigh. However, the most bone-chilling theory is also the one with something rare in the Roanoke mystery: physical evidence. The Roanoke Colony was an attempt by Queen Elizabeth I to establish a permanent British presence in the New World, and comprises two unsuccessful attempts at settlement. Investigations into the fate of the “Lost Colony” of Roanoke have continued over the centuries, but no one has come up with a satisfactory answer. The English, led by Humphrey Gilbert, had claimed St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1583 as the first North American English colony by royal prerogative of Queen Elizabeth I. Roanoke was second. Theories range from the plausible to the improbable, including massacre, migration, and even a zombie outbreak. English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh founded the colony in modern-day North Carolina in 1587, but the settlement ended after all its residents mysteriously vanished in 1590. One hotly debated clue is a rock, allegedly engraved by Roanoke colonists, that was found in a swamp in North Carolina. Follow… The first Roanoke colony was established by governor Ralph Lane in 1585 on Roanoke Island in what is now Dare County, North Carolina, United States. There is no conclusive evidence as to what happened to the colony of Roanoke. Wikimedia Commons John White’s depiction of his 1590 expedition to Roanoke Island, when he discovered that the colony had disappeared. The mystery of what happened to Roanoke has puzzled historians for centuries. The Roanoke Colony refers to two attempts by Sir Walter Raleigh to found the first permanent English settlement in North America.