John Philip Cohane

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John Philip Cohane, born in New Haven, Connecticut was an American author. He later moved to Ireland where he wrote books on etymology and Ancient astronaut themes.[1][2]


Cohane published The Indestructible Irish in 1968 in which he proposed that the Irish peoples were of 'Mediterranean origin’.[3] In the book he claimed that the original blood stock in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is Semitic.[4] Cohane also published The Key: A Startling Enquiry into the Riddle of Mans Past, which claimed that before Egyptian, Greek, Phoenician and Carthaginian eras two major worldwide Semitic migrations took place from the Mediterranean and scattered across the earth.[5]

The American linguist Cyrus Herzl Gordon was a friend of Cohane and wrote a preface to Cohane's book The Key, Gordon was supportive of many of Cohane's theories.[6][7]

Cohane claimed that geographical names in America have a Semitic origin.[8] He also believed that six word roots are found in most places names of most languages.[9] Another claim by Cohane was that the Phoenicians adopted the alphabet from a prior Semitic culture.[10]

In 1977 Cohane published Paradox: The Case for the Extraterrestrial Origin of Man in which he claimed man is a product of interplanetary colonization (see Ancient astronauts).[11]


Cohane's controversial ideas were rejected by professional archaeologists and historians as "fantasy" and "pseudoscience".[5][12]

Archaeologist Phil C. Weigand described The Key as a "fantasy masked as science" and suggested that the linguistic analysis is "methodologically unsound to be ever seriously considered."[5]


  • 1968 The Indestructible Irish
  • 1969 The Key: A Startling Enquiry into the Riddle of Mans Past
  • 1972 White Papers of an Outraged Conservative
  • 1977 Paradox: The Case for the Extraterrestrial Origin of Man

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Randall Fitzgerald, Cosmic test tube: extraterrestrial contact, theories and evidence, Moon Lake Media, 1998, p. 55
  2. ^ Natalie Robins, Steven M. L. Aronson, Savage Grace: The True Story of Fatal Relations in a Rich and Famous American Family, 2007, p. 488
  3. ^ Éire-Ireland: a journal of Irish studies, Volume 5; Volume 5, Irish American Cultural Institute., 1966, p. 145
  4. ^ The Critic, Volume 27, Issue 6, Thomas More Association, 1969
  5. ^ a b c Phil C. Weigand (September 1978). "Review: Reviewed Works: In Search of Noah's Ark by Dave Balsiger, Charles E. Sellier, Jr.; Remote Kingdoms by Tertius Chandler; The Key by John Philip Cohane; Gods of the Cataclysm: A Revolutionary Investigation of Man and his Gods before and after the Great Cataclysm by Hugh Fox". American Anthropologist. New Series. 80 (3): 731–733. doi:10.1525/aa.1978.80.3.02a00760. JSTOR 677086.
  6. ^ Osbert Guy Stanhope Crawford, Antiquity: a quarterly review of archaeology, Volumes 51-53, Antiquity Publications, 1977
  7. ^ The Reprint bulletin, Volumes 23-24, American Library Association, Oceana Publications, 1978, p. 14
  8. ^ Cyrus Herzl Gordon, Before Columbus; links between the Old World and ancient America, Crown, 1971, p. 138
  9. ^ Eugene R. Fingerhut, Explorers of pre-Columbian America?: the diffusionist-inventionist controversy, Regina Books, 1994, p. 222
  10. ^
  11. ^ The New York Times book review, The New York Times Company, 1977 p. 40
  12. ^ Gelb I. J (1973). "Reviewed Work: The Key by John Philip Cohane". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 93 (3): 396–397. doi:10.2307/599561.