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The Lost Rocks: The Dare Stones and the Unsolved Mystery of Sir Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony Paperback – April 1, 2011
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My problems with the book are physical, one illogical and one poorly researched concept. After the Physical one, there are spoilers.
The latest printing of this book has literally EVERY 3rd page unbound. They just fall out. Every 3rd page. Never seen this before. Returned, replaced, same thing. Bad lot. Buyer Beware. At least Amazon allows returns of defective items.
The author points out that part of the disproving of the Dare Stone past the first one, which may take to be unproven but not proven fake, are the fact names are signed with 3 letters and no gothic letters are used. But this is also true of the first stone and the author does NOT point that fact out. Inconsistant to not apply the same criteria to ALL the stones. I am in the "it's a hoax" camp. The stone was only found after much publicized events. Never found before. And it's a HUGE stone in a highly trafficked area of centuries of shipping, farming, traveling. They never ID'd the guy who found it, who couldn't find the spot he found it at, who cleaned the hell out of the stone so it didn't have any of it's original soil, lichen in the grooves, etc to show age. And the timing was perfect for the Lost Colony revival. just too many suspicious coincidences. I don't buy the idea that a person would have to have supreme knowledge and capability to fake such an item. That's a failure of imagination on everyone's part who were clearly looked by a country bumkin from GA who did 45 such stones. How could he be a savant and not one else be? Bottom line, no corroborating evidence that this stone was found where the discoverer even said it was found, nor any hint of the second stone hinted at. No graves, nothing. If you aren't invested in the story, its seems like a very clear hoax at a topographical point of view.
Lack of Research:
At the end, the author engages in a fantasy of "what if" this stone was real, and engages on a possible scenario of the stones narrative. Problem is, it doesn't square with ANY actual history of what happens when Europeans live among coastal indians. A la Cabeza de Vaca. For example, the author thinks that the men after losing their powder would have resorted to box & arrow. Clearly he has never used such a device because Europeans were considered useless at the weapon by Indians and as such, men would have been put to do "women work" of digging legumes and finding fruit and berries. Or they would have been put to fishing with spears or diving for oysters which also required skill (and since most Europeans couldn't swim, probably not the latter) Via Cabeza one can easily imagine (being in a colder norther region) that there would have been massive indian deaths from European disease, but massive European deaths from exposure and lack of food as most indian coastal tribes could barely manage 20 extra mouths much less 117 even spread out among several tribes.
Another failure was the fact that never once mentioned was the possibility of copulation. The Lost Colonists, not to mention many visiting sailors of Spanish, English, etc would have traded for sex and left enough genetic lineage to have grey-eyed indians. In other words, the Lost Colonists didn't have to live for years with Indians, or longer, they could have just copulated in one season and left a lasting lineage of unalterable genetic material.
I'm surprised the Lumbee tribes members haven't had genetic testing to match know kin to those who travelled with the Lost Colony. There is enough record to have matched at least one or two to see if there were ANY matchable DNA. Pembroke University could easily sponsor such a venture on the cheap, but they don't for the obvious reason: They don't want it proven that they are not.
And in the end, that is why there has been pretty poor investigation of this first Dare Stone. Those involved like the mystery as it generates interest and research money. Hoaxes do not.