Ben grew up primarily in Utah, the 2nd oldest of six children. Supportive parents encouraged him to fully pursue all of his interests. Like many of his friends, Ben’s dad enrolled him in sports and coached dozens of his athletic teams while his mom signed him up for piano and trumpet lessons and kindled within him an interest for music. Ironically, she was also the one who taught him how to fish, camp, and shoot a gun while his dad preferred to teach life’s lessons on the court and baseball field. Because his parents were so supportive, Ben developed an obsession for trying new things, especially if it involves earning certifications and licenses. These endeavors include becoming a licensed land and sea airplane pilot, amateur radio operator, licensed falconer, certified SCUBA diver, hang glider, EMT, Search and Rescue dog handler, and Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts (in large part thanks to his mother). He graduated with honors from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with Abnormal Psychology emphasis, certification in Criminology and Corrections, a Spanish minor, and a year of study abroad completed in Australia. Ben maintains his Spanish fluency and has used it quite frequently in his work and personal life.
Inspired by TV shows like The X-Files which were popular while he was in high school, Ben cemented an interest in both a desire to work in public service for an investigative agency and an insatiable desire to explore mysteries of the unknown. After graduating college, he worked for several private and public agencies, including investigating child sex crimes and severe physical abuse on the Utah County Sex Crimes Task Force. His training and work later brought him to work in the position of Special Agent for the FBI. His time serving at the state and federal levels gave him over six years of formal experience in investigating a wide range of crimes and national security details. Feeling as though he might someday return to public service, Ben also felt compelled to seize an opportunity presented to him to assist in forming a new investigative reality TV show. Departing from the mainstream paranormal shows prevalent at the time, this new show would not only conduct observation-based field investigations; it would focus primarily on alleged evidence already at hand. The age of the Internet has brought with it the sharing of thousands of allegedly paranormal viral videos and photographs. People with a sincere curiosity for the unknown are often left with the tremendous and exciting task of sifting through the hoaxes and naturally explainable cases. Ben and the show developers felt that after a methodical process of experimentation, whatever evidence remained unexplained… also became more compelling. From this concept was born the Syfy hit television show Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files.
Having been with Fact or Faked from the beginning, Ben led a team of five specialists who travel the world looking for answers to these mysteries. Confronting the relationship of seeing and believing, the team has witnessed and documented dozens of unbelievable events. Many people recite the phrase, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” After having investigated so many powerful eyewitness events, Ben found that the innate human longing for rational explanation still frequently inhibits many from exploring high strangeness. It’s probably more accurate to say, “Aliquandro videre non est satis” – Sometimes seeing is not enough.
You may have also seen Ben on documentaries and series on networks such as Smithsonian, Destination America, CW, and several appearances on the Travel Channel. Outside of the U.S., he’s appeared on Comedy Central UK, ProSieben in Germany, Fuji TV in Japan, Canada History, and the Yesterday Channel in the UK. In June of 2019, Travel Channel began airing the 8 episode series Ghosts of Morgan City where Ben joined a team of two other paranormal investigators that assisted local law enforcement and city agencies in the small community of St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. The team attempted to resolve the cause of an increase in emergency calls related to strange occurrences.
Apart from filming TV shows and documentaries, Ben often provides analysis for photos and videos for the Huffington Post Weird News column. Breaking-down captured media of alleged Bigfoot, UFO, and ghost events, Ben provides his expert opinion on some of the most viral stories in the current press. He often presents his research and findings at dozens of conferences across the globe.
Between filming and traveling to events across the world, Ben also films as a commercial drone pilot and teaches advanced firearms, active shooter response, and CPR courses as an instructor. He owns a retail night vision and thermal camera business called Night Vision Ops and another company that sells bulletproof backpacks and other safety equipment. In his free time, he attempts to surf, enjoys basketball, rock climbing, SCUBA diving, and flying small planes. He also believes firmly in the importance of volunteerism, especially when it comes to disaster preparedness. He serves on his community’s FEMA sponsored CERT team and was formerly active with a Disaster Action Team for the American Red Cross. Currently, he is also the Chief of Media and Entertainment for PrepperCon, the largest disaster preparedness/survival consumer expo in the country.