Ian Mackintosh

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Ian Mackintosh

Hamish Ian Mackintosh

(1940-07-26)26 July 1940
Disappeared7 July 1979 (aged 38)
Gulf of Alaska, Alaska, United States
StatusPresumed dead
OccupationAuthor, Royal Navy officer
Spouse(s)Sharron Carter
Military career
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Years of service1958–1976
RankLieutenant Commander

Lieutenant Commander Hamish Ian Mackintosh, MBE (born 26 July 1940; disappeared 7 July 1979) was a British Royal Navy officer, a writer of thriller novels, and a screenwriter for British television.

Early life, education and family[edit]

Born to Annie (née Lawrie) and James Mackintosh, Mackintosh was born in Inverness and raised primarily in Tain, a small town in the Scottish Highlands. His mother was a governess and his father was a naval officer. Educated at Inverness Royal Academy, Mackintosh initially applied to join the Fleet Air Arm as a pilot but was rejected due to poor eyesight. A subsequent application to join the Royal Air Force was also rejected for the same reason. After spending an additional year at school, Mackintosh applied for entry to Britannia Royal Naval College in 1958 to train as a Royal Navy officer and was accepted. In September 1969, he married Sharron Carter, daughter of a Royal Navy officer, and they had two daughters. Mackintosh and Carter subsequently divorced.[1]


Mackintosh's first novel, A Slaying in September, was published in 1967. He wrote four other original novels between 1967 and 1970; his later books were either based on his television series, or were novelizations of televised episodes of his television series.

Whilst serving as a Royal Navy officer, Mackintosh co-created the popular and acclaimed BBC television drama series Warship (1973–1977) and wrote several of its episodes. It was set on board the fictional HMS Hero (F42), which was portrayed by the real Leander-class frigate HMS Phoebe. Mackintosh was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1976 Birthday Honours on his retirement from the Royal Navy.

Employed at Yorkshire Television as a screenwriter after Warship, Mackintosh created and wrote most of the episodes of Wilde Alliance, Thundercloud, and The Sandbaggers.


On the evening of 7 July 1979, Mackintosh was flying with two others (his friend and an experienced British Airways captain Graham Barber, who was the pilot; and Mackintosh's girlfriend, Susan Insole) over the Gulf of Alaska in a light aircraft.[2] The plane sent out a distress signal, which was picked up by the United States Coast Guard. The plane's last-known position was searched, but no wreckage of the plane was ever found, and its passengers have not been heard from since.[3][4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Folsom, Robert G. (June 2012). The Life and Mysterious Death of Ian MacKintosh: The Inside Story of The Sandbaggers and Television's Top Spy. Potomac Books. ISBN 9781612341880.
  2. ^ "Ian Mackintosh". Check-Six. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Sandbaggers - My Brother Ian Mackintosh 2". Archived from the original on 10 September 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2008.
  4. ^ "Did spy writer's disappearance mirror his fiction?", John O'Groat Journal and Caithness Courier, 3 January 2013. Accessed 2 April 2015