I saw my dead brother yesterday.

Someone sent me a quicktime and there on the screen, large as life, was Adam. Is it just a cruel prank? The date on the video is only 3 days old and I want to believe it's real and that it's him. My heart wants to even though my mind screams at me to accept the fact that he died almost 3 years ago.

When we were kids I always took Adam for granted. We saw each other every day. We even dressed alike until we got older and convinced Mom that wearing the same clothes made us look like dorks. Looking at Adam was like looking at a mirror image of myself.

Then after high school we kinda went separate ways. I embraced the hedonistic surfer / skateboarder lifestyle. Adam embraced higher learning, cold logic, and a search for a deeper meaning of what life is all about. For a while that made me the black sheep, the slacker who didn't have a care in the world. Adam was the good son, the one earning the long string of educational letters behind his name. But I always tried never to resent it. I looked up to him and at a certain point even came to respect him. Hell, since he was my twin it was kinda like having a clone of myself that was willing to do the dirty work of becoming an adult. I could stay young and dumb while my alter ego got the awards, paid the bills, and made the name Barnes mean something. I refused to enter the real world while Adam choose to embrace it and make it work for him.

An old picture of Adam and his fiancé Chloe

But the urge to go a different route must have been just as deeply imbedded in Adam as it was for me. Instead of stopping at the edge of acceptability, Adam started plunging deeper. His interest in humanities and history took him deeper out into the fringe. He became interested in things that most academics turn away from. Unexplained phenomenon, occult studies, and magic, started to consume more and more of his time. Looking back, I can't tell you the exact day that his behavior and methods went over that invisible line of respectability. I just know that at some point in his quest he crossed over into a scientific darkness. He tried using his desire for knowledge as a torch against this enveloping blackness of ignorance but even I could see that he was beginning to lose his way.

I tried to help. I started working for him, telling him I was just paying back a loan. But what I was really doing was trying to keep an eye on him. I thought that if I was around then nothing could go wrong. When you're young you know bad things happen but you never think they are going to happen to you. It's always the other person that has a disease or the other family that loses someone they love. Well that's crap. If nothing else, Adam taught me that grief and suffering doesn't play favorites. I thought Adam and I would have plenty of time together. That this overpowering urge for a deeper truth would leave him some day. But I was wrong. I couldn't or wouldn't realize where this obsession was taking him. That he take his own life. Up till this week I still didn't understand the real reason why he did it. I always thought it was because he couldn't accept that life has finite limits. That when he ran up against that final wall and found out he couldn't go over it, he just gave up.

But now I know that he did it for a different reason.

After getting the quicktime I decided to do what I should have done back in 1997. Adam's ex-fiancé Chloe and I went to Adam's house and we found something amazing. Hidden underneath the wallpaper and beneath the carpets were a multitude of strange symbols.

Adam (I assume it was Adam) had painted these glyphs everywhere in his house. Were they there to protect him from something? Were they there to protect the outside world from whatever forces he was attempting to conjure up? I don't know.

Click here to see the movie (3MB).

Download QuickTime (movie not working for you? you probably need to download the QuickTime software)
Under the floorboards of his bedroom we found an amulet with these same symbols. The jewelry looks ancient and I have no idea where it came from. Adam never spoke of it to me. I know he was talking to some strange people on his website, and was searching for artifacts to help him in his theories. Maybe someone he chatted with on the site sent it to him.

Another puzzling clue is that somehow this all relates to the lost colony of Roanoke. That was one of the last legends that Adam was researching before he died and these glyphs match ones I found in his old notebook. We found "Croatoan" painted on one of the walls and it was also on the website that sent me that quicktime.

The legend goes that in 1587 English explorer John White brought over a group of settlers to America. He then left them there (Including his young granddaughter, Virginia Dare) and went back to England for more supplies. When he returned to the settlement four years later everyone was missing. There were no signs of a struggle, no graves, no nothing. One hundred and fifteen men, woman, and children had just disappeared without a trace. The only clue was the word Croatoan carved into a tree. John White thought it referred to an island just west of the settlement but for some reason he never went there to check.

Chloe told me that Adam believed the story was incomplete and that John White didn't tell everything he knew. Adam thought White had discovered something so horrible that he left the colony and never tried to find out what happened and believed it had something to do with John White's granddaughter, Virginia Dare. It kinda makes sense because in the years following the disappearance, Virginia became a prominent figure in many different stories and legends. Local Indian tribes said she was an evil spirit, a shape shifter and refused to go near the old colony. Adam believed these fears had a basis in fact. He partially based this theory on a fragment of a diary entry by John White in which Virginia is described as "...something fearsum."

How does this all fit in with my brother's death? I don't know. I feel like John White must have when he walked into that deserted settlement and wondering what happened to all those people. Did the word Croatoan really mean what John White thought it did? Do I understand what that quicktime really means? Sure I've uncovered something but finding out the facts is just the start of the problem. The truth is all tangled up with myth and guesswork and separating the two is a bigger burden than I can handle by myself.

That's why I'm posting all of this here. Take a look at the symbols I found in Adam's house. Read his website. Try to help me make some sense out of all of this. I've asked for your help before and you guys have always come through for me. This time I need it more than ever.


The notes of Adam Barnes

Personal Investigation by Derek Barnes

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