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Ivan T. Sanderson About
World Science Database Profile
(Died: February 19, 1973)
Age: 62

Ivan Terence Sanderson. Scottish-born naturalist, traveler, collector and exhibitor of rare animals, radio and television commentator, and author. In addition to his many books on nature, travel, and zoology, Sanderson also had special interest in such anomalous mysteries as the Abominable Snowman, the Loch Ness Monster, and UFOs. In 1965 he founded the Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained.

Sanderson was born on January 30, 1911, in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Arthur Buchanan, a famous whisky manufacturer who also founded the first game reserve in Kenya, East Africa. He was educated at Eton College (1924-27), Trinity College, Cambridge (1930-32), and the University of London (1933-34). He started collecting animals in 1924 and traveled around the world collecting for the British Museum (1927-29). He also led the Percy Sladen Expedition to Cameron, West Africa for the British Museum, the Royal Society of London, and other institutions (1932-33). Through the 1930s he traveled widely, exploring and collecting animals, a career cut short by World War II. He served in British Naval Intelligence (1940-45) and finished the war with the rank of commander. He continued in intelligence work with the British government through 1957.

He moved to the United States in the 1950s and became a regular on television shows as a naturalist spreading knowledge about the world's animals. He also edited books and wrote widely on animals and his favorite hobby, Forteana (the study of bizarre phenomena, named for Charles Fort.) Through the last two decades of his life he averaged more than a book a year. His books were commonly illustrated with photographs he had taken on his world tours. His Fortean interests become widely known after the publication of his memorable book on the Abominable Snowman in 1961. It was followed by a series of volumes on Fortean topics.

Sanderson died on February 19, 1973. His Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained continued his work into the 1980s, collecting data and maintaining the library he had assembled.