My brother, Ian Mackintosh
Lawrie Mackintosh sheds light on the life of his brother.

Based 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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