My brother, Ian Mackintosh
Lawrie Mackintosh sheds
light on the life of his brother.
on his television series he wrote the novels Warship, HMS Hero,
and Holt RN (all from Warship), and Wilde Alliance (from the series
of the same name). At this time he also produced a number of books
on airline colour schemes and liveries, on which he was an acknowledged
expert, and continued building and collecting model aircraft.
In 1978 he created the television series The Sandbaggers. It
is this series he was working on when he disappeared flying in
Alaska in July 1979. While he was undoubtedly involved in Naval
Intelligence, and in intelligence work outside the navy itself,
that part of his life is steeped in as much mystery as his disappearance
itself. Even after he left the service, he had to report to the
authorities each time he wanted to travel overseas, and his home
was full of electronic security devices.
The plane in which he was flying when he disappeared was piloted
by Graham Barber, an experienced British Airways captain, and
Ian's closest friend. Yet Graham failed to file a flight plan
before they left, and flew a very different route from that which
he told people at the airfield. He also made a brief unscheduled
stop at a remote and disused World War II airfield, before flying
on towards Kodiak Island, and sending out a mayday signal at the
only point where an aircraft briefly disappears from the radar
coverage on Kodiak Island itself.
Despite boats and other aircraft converging in the area within
minutes, there was no sign of wreckage or survivors. Inquiries
by friends and family were simply stonewalled by the authorities
in both Alaska and the UK.
Did he die in Alaska or simply disappear? And why? Nobody knows,
and those who might will not talk, but equally no one who knew
him would be very surprised if tomorrow he reappeared, sitting
at his desk typing, as if the past 21 years had never happened.
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