Loren McIntyre, the central character and narrator of Amazon Beaming

Loren McIntyre was born in Seattle in 1917 and studied Latin-American culture at the University of California, Berkeley. During World War II he served with the US Navy in the Pacific and at the end of the war went on to study Ethnology at the National University of San Marcos, Lima.

From the late 1950s, while working for the US Aid programme in Peru and Bolivia, McIntyre began photographing his travels. His photographs and articles subsequently appeared in over 500 publications, including Time, Life, Smithsonian, Audubon and South American Explorer.

In 1971 he led an expedition sponsored by the National Geographic Society to locate the source of the Amazon, which he discovered was a small lake, and which is now named Laguna McIntyre, in the Apurímac region of Peru. It was during this trip that he had the encounter with the Mayoruna people which is described in the book Amazon Beaming. 

McIntyre published a number of books, including The Incredible Incas and their Timeless Land (1975), Exploring South America (1990), Amazonia (1991) and Die Amerikanische Reise (2000), a biography of Alexander von Humboldt.

After living for many years in South America, he moved to Arlington, Virginia, where he died in 2003.