A Researcher's Viewpoint

Ben Ruhe
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As the Drachen Foundation steadily adds to its kite files from around the world, it has had to find researchers to do some of its most vital work. Enter Ed Milligan-"Uncle Ed" to all-who works out of Washington, D.C., a mother lode of valuable, obscure, often difficult to unearth information.

An ex-U.S. intelligence officer who attained the rank of lieutenant colonel, Milligan, now of Alexandria, Virgina, is circumspect about his government career. He does drop the occasional name-Norman Schwartzkopft and Ignatius Acheampong, classmates at Fort Leavenworth. Schwartzkopft went on to Persian Gulf fame, Acheampong became president of Ghana and was later assassinated. Beyond that, he doesn't say much, honoring his vow of secrecy.

After a series of uninspiring jobs following retirement, Milligan got into research when a friend talked him into finding the whereabouts of surviving gold medals awarded by the U.S. government to foreigners who saved American seamen. Although many had been struck, most were subsequently melted down, so they constituted an unusual collector's item. Spending six months on the project, Millagan discovered names and addresses in State Department correspondence archives and elsewhere and made a name for himself as a researcher. Word of mouth soon produced other commissions and Milligan discovered he had a new vocation that he was good at and enjoyed.

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