The lost colony.
Theory: When John White arrived back to the Roanoke settlement after his long expedition, he found that the colonists were gone. The houses were taken down, a husk remained, boats and cannons gone, "CROATOAN', (the native settlement) was carved on a white fence, and 'CRO' was scratched on a tree. What I believe happened is that the tribe were in desperate measures. They had diseases that they developed from the ship (on their way to Roanoke), and they had low water and food supplies. There was a settlement close by called Croatoan. They carved that on a tree and fence to state that that is where they'll be and that they needed protection from that tribe. Protection from what? The Spaniards. The Spaniards were heading North towards Roanoke, and they reached the island, attacking the settlement. This explains why the boats and cannons were gone; however, the bodies were thrown underwater and because of erosion, the bodies weren't found. However, some colonists went a separate direction before the Spaniards could make it. They went to find help, and this explains the Lumbee Connection (A tribe native to North Carolina, and their history links to Roanoke settlers).
The colony was abandoned, and the Croatoan tribe arrived at their settlement, taking down their houses.