Don Elkins was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1930. He held a B.S and M.S in Mechanical Engineering, and a Ph.D in philosophy from an English university, was Professor of Physics and Engineering at the University of Louisville for twelve years, and founder and head of the University of Alaska’s mechanical engineering department in 1960–61. He served with distinction in the US Army during the Korean War. In 1965 he left his position as tenured professor in order to give himself more time for UFO and paranormal research, and became a Boeing 727 pilot, eventually Captain, for Eastern Airlines until his death by suicide on November 7, 1984.
In 1955 Elkins began using age regression hypnosis to research reincarnation. He talked with and visited UFO contactees all over the United States, often piloting his own small plane, and investigated the many areas of paranormal study into which UFOs led him through the years, corresponding with and visiting a wide variety of scholars and researchers as well as experiencers, abductees and many others defying categorization throughout his very active career as a researcher.
At the time of his death Elkins was deep into the study of the Ra Material, a lengthy and complex series of channeled teachings that had begun in January 1981 and which he had been researching with Carla Rueckert and James McCarty. There are reports of negative psychological interferences having developed during this latter investigation.