What happens when an American electrical engineer – almost certainly of Russian ancestry – works in Korea between 1947 and 1948 as part of the postwar US military occupation and hears Koreans saying, “네, 네” and thinks, “Hey, that sounds like the Greeks I heard saying ‘ne, ne,’ which also means ‘yes’”?
Well, you get Wladimir W. Mitkewich’s completely wrong-headed 1956 book “Koreans Are White,” which attempts to prove that Korea is a long-lost Greek colony.
I first learned of this book in the essay “Incredibly Strange Books About Korea Written By Honkies,” which appeared in Scott Burgeson’s book ‘Korea Bug’ (2005; also originally in his zine, Bug 5, 2001). I stumbled upon it in the stacks of University of Washington Library and scanned it. It’s only 44 pages long, with 30 pages of text, so it’s a quick, unintentionally-amusing (if not exactly mentally nourishing) read.
The book can be read or downloaded here.
[Update: And then Robert Neff reminds me of Scottish writer N. McLeod's "Korea and the Ten Lost Tribes" [of Israel] - another book Scott reviewed in his "Incredibly Strange Books" essay.]