Sanderson, Ivan T(erence) (1911–1973)
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.
Sources
Clark, Jerome. Encyclopedia of Strange and Unexplained Phenomena.
Detroit Gale Research, 1993.
Sanderson, Ivan T. Abominable Snowmen Legend Comes to Life.
New York Chilton, 1961. Abridged ed., New York Pyramid
Publications, 1968.
———. Investigating the Unexplained. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
Prentice-Hall, 1972.
———. Invisible Residents A Disquisition Upon Certain Matters
Maritime, and the Possibility of Intelligent Life Under the Waters of
This Earth. New York World Publishing, 1970.
———. More ‘‘Things.’’ New York Pyramid Books, 1969.
———. ‘‘Things.’’ New York Pyramid Books, 1967.
———. Uninvited Visitors; A Biologist Looks at UFO’s. New
York Cowles, 1967.