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British Officials Interview Survivors of Fort Caroline

British officials interview survivors of Fort Caroline disaster under oath

While searching for the lost vellum, containing “The Migration Legend of the Creek People” I stumbled upon an astonishing fact. British officials interviewed witnesses under oath, first to find out what was going on in the New World, and then later, to try to determine what caused the disappearance of the Roanoke Island Colony. Most of the witnesses were survivors of Fort Caroline. In fact, survivor, Nicholas Burgiognon, was forced by the Spanish to be the guide for a Spanish expedition that planned to destroy the Roanoke Colony, but found it already abandoned.

The depositions brought many surprises. First of all, Congressman Charles C. Bennett intentionally omitted phrases and paragraphs from his translation of René de Laundonniére’s book on Fort Caroline, which would have completely negated any location of a French colony in the State of Florida. By the time, Bennett wrote the book, Fort Caroline’s scaled-down reproduction was already a part of the National Park System. It would have been extremely embarrassing for the National Park Service and the Flat Earth Society. De Laundonniére wrote that his expeditions paddled up the May River in a northwestward direction directly from Fort Caroline to reach the Georgia Mountains. Bennett changed that to just say that they went to the mountains.

fort-caroline-bookThese depositions also clearly demonstrate that the Spanish and French went many times into the Southern Highlands to trade in the 1500s, and that they knew of the existence of a great city on the side of a mountain in northern Georgia, which is obviously the Track Rock terrace complex.

I was dubious when I read in the depositions that the Spanish obtained diamonds in the Georgia Mountains. However, it turns out that large diamonds have been found in Georgia. Scott Wolter, host of America Unearthed, told me that geologists are aware that there are ancient volcanic tubes in this region that could contain major diamond deposits, but no geologist has seriously looked for them. One of those tubes may be the dormant fumarole at Track Rock Gap. The Spanish obtained a diamond worth 5,000 crowns from the city of Grand Copal, which is what they called the Track Rock terrace complex.

If interested in reading these 425 year old depositions, go to: About More

The truth is out there somewhere, most likely in a British museum! LOL

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    Hi! I am writing a book on the history of Fort Caroline (for University Presses of Florida) and found this information about the British grilling French survivors very interesting. Would it be possible to share your source? And if you are at all interested in discussing Fort Caroline history further, please let me know.


    Oh haha I read your funny fictional depositions. I so relate to wanting to fill in some of the blanks. I did appreciate your article on Marilyn Rae’s discovery in the Bartram’s Travels.


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