It might seem odd for me to include in my series about my experiences while recovering from major surgery an article about a man who died in 1984. However, Don Elkins is a central figure in my incarnation as a whole. His presence is as real and powerful in my life now as it ever was. I think about him every day. To Jim and me, Don is still the Leader of our small Band of L/L Research.

Don was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 27, 1930. He was the ultimate Pisces – silent, inwardly focused, psychic and mutable as the moon or the ocean. His character was impeccable. He was a man of ultimate integrity His outward persona was that of a soldier and a professor, a researcher and a philosopher. His inner persona was that of a priest, although he was not a religious man.

Let’s take those one at a time. Don learned to fly a small plane in his early teens and hoped to enter the air force, but in the press of the Korean War, and under time constraints, he instead joined the Kentucky National Guard. When his unit was activated, Don was the youngest Master Sergeant in the Army, having been promoted before his twenty-first birthday. His favorite “nom de guerre” stems from his early love of flying: he tended to introduce himself as Phineas T. Pinkham of Flying Aces Magazine.

This rapid promotion in the Army was due to several things - Don’s uncanny ability to quick-draw-shoot a bottle-cap out of the air and make one hole in a target with six shots, his general knowledge of all things to do with weapons and tactics and his miraculous-seeming ability to inspire devotion, loyalty and high morale among his men.

Don and his unit of light artillery passed the war uneventfully in an Army base in Germany and when he was demobilized, he stayed in the Guard for thirteen more years, finally retiring as a Captain. Many of his best and oldest friends were either those made in the military or those who went with him into the Guard. He thought like a military man and he was always heavily defended.

Don had his schooling interrupted during the Korean Conflict, and he returned to Speed Scientific School after his service to finish a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He also obtained a general engineering degree at the Master’s level. He immediately began teaching M.E. and physics classes for the School. He was a professor there for fifteen years. During this time he went to Alaska and founded the M.E. undergraduate program for the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, but he stayed there only a year. He found the weather daunting and when he saw the pristine country town installing parking meters he decided the lower forty-eight looked good to him! His approach to information was always scholarly and scientific.

His career in research began quite early. By his mid-twenties, Don was flying his small plane all over the United States, talking to UFO experiencers like George Adamski and George Hunt Williamson and paranormal researchers like J. B. Rhine.

He learned the techniques of regressive hypnosis so that he could investigate the possibility that reincarnation was the correct solution to the question of personal continuity. He attended countless séances before he found an evidentially convincing medium who was able to manifest ectoplasm.

In the seventies, when I was his assistant, he did a good bit of field research, again in his small plane, flying to remote locations and interviewing witnesses to UFO “close encounters of the third kind” where the UFOs left trace evidence on the ground as well as human witnesses.

With my health problems as his impetus and me as his guinea pig, he also investigated psychic surgery in the Philippines and Mexico in 1975 and 1977-8. No piece of information was too ridiculous for him to consider.

As a philosopher, Don was unique. He did an activity called ‘thinking’ by the hour. He would lie on the couch or in our hammock and draw invisible signs in the air with his long, beautifully shaped index finger. He is the only person I have ever known that devoted time to mentation by preference. And he did it so well! His theories were never half-baked. A wealth of thought went into his every research question.

In 1962 I joined Don’s extraterrestrial communications experiment, one that still goes on at L/L Research each Saturday night between September and May. I resisted learning to channel because it did not interest me. However when he asked me to learn to channel in 1974, twelve years later, I knew that the experiment depended on me, as the original channels had all moved on. He started recording our sessions, and that is how we began the archives of L/L Research’s channeling.

During that twelve years, much happened to me. I married in order to be able to go on the road singing folk songs with my first husband, only to have him give up folk-singing at the critical moment. I was left with a do-nothing husband who would neither work a full time job nor finish his schooling. During the four years of our marriage, I was the breadwinner.

This gem left me seven times in four years, coming back like the proverbial bad penny six times, to my secret disappointment. The seventh time, he and his lover, plus the lover’s husband, went to Canada to avoid getting drafted. I rejoiced, went to Boston, landed a dream job at the Boston Public Library, and began looking for an apartment in Cambridge. He called to ask me to come to Canada as he was out of money and needed me to support him. Promises are serious business for me and marriage is a huge promise. I kept mine, going to Vancouver and finding a job as a research librarian there.

Then I repeated the pattern, excelling at my work and landing a wonderful job as head of the British Columbia Teacher’s Association Special Library. Before I could begin that tasty job, my first husband at long last asked me for a divorce, but only if I agreed to return to Louisville. Again, I did so to satisfy him, delighted at last to be free of this difficult relationship.

And that is where Don entered my life personally. He proposed marriage, but looked very reluctant, so I accepted given that he still wanted to marry when he returned home from flying – in 1965, he began flying professionally for Eastern Air Lines and was often gone for several days.

Don decided he did not wish to marry, but would be happy to be hand-fasted to me, and that is where our relationship rested for sixteen years. We were very happy together and worked together to write fiction, non-fiction and screenplays. Most of all, Don supported my continued attempts to learn to channel ever better, and in 1980, Jim McCarty joined our research team. Three weeks later the Ra Contact began, and the rest is history.

Don may have passed from this mortal life in 1984, but his presence is a constant in my life. He is now part of my guidance system, and I see him every time I tune for a channeling session. He gave Jim and me our marching orders long ago, and we have never even thought of taking another course. We relish pursuing Don’s plan. It provides us with enormous satisfaction to be of service to seekers as we are doing.

Don asked two things of me, back in 1968 when we first became partners personally and professionally. He asked me to make the Confederation information globally available. And he asked me to head a spiritual organization. Thanks to our web guy for the archive site, whose work shines in, and to the world-wide web, the first goal has been reached. The second, living the Law of One at L/L Research, is a work in progress.

I have known a great man in my time, one Donald Tully Elkins. Together we were a family, though certainly a different one! I adored that man when he was alive and did what needed doing in order to stay with him over the long haul. Now that he is gone from this world, he is on my shoulder and in my heart. What a satisfaction it was, as I went through the months of slow recovery from spinal fusion, to contemplate our life together, and the good work he left for Jim and me to finish. We are still on the job, Don, and you can count on us!

I open my arms and embrace your spirit. May we have the good luck in our lives to recognize our chief path of service when we see it, and to love and be loved with all our hearts when the opportunity comes to us.