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FAQs2019-07-29T17:53:03+00:00

As part of publicity efforts for the television shows in which he has appeared, Ben has given hundreds of radio, television, podcast, and print interviews.  He also makes an effort to respond to every email message sent to him, but as can be expected, many of the questions asked of him relate to the same topics.  It often becomes very difficult to respond to each and every person in a timely manner.  Dozens of Ben’s past interviews are located online, but this section more efficiently consolidates some of the most common questions so those interested don’t have to search multiple websites.  Be sure to check out the bio page as well for more details to common questions.  The following are FAQs with answers directly quoted from Ben to questions posed in press and fan inquiries.

YOU APPEAR VERY TALL ON TV. HOW TALL ARE YOU?2019-07-22T05:29:13+00:00

I’m between 6’3″ and 6″7″ depending on which convenience store I’m leaving.  Joking aside, I’m exactly 6’5 and 3/4″ tall and yes, I did play basketball.  The extent of my basketball career was playing for a college in Australia, but it’s really not a big deal there.  College sports in Australia are more like extracurricular clubs so it doesn’t say much about my playing ability.  However, the extra height does make me the likely choice to wear the costume when reenacting Bigfoot cases.

YOU SEEM TO HAVE A LOT OF INTERESTS. HOW MANY THINGS ARE YOU LICENSED OR TRAINED IN?2019-07-22T04:31:35+00:00

Yes, ever since I was about 12 years old I had this obsession for getting certified in hobbies and jobs.  I call my condition “certifosis”.  I don’t just like trying out most things.  I like to get proficient in them and it’s quite addicting.  To date, I have over 50 professional licenses and certifications.  Among other things, I’m a licensed airplane and seaplane pilot, EMT, amateur radio operator, falconer, commercial drone pilot, and certified SCUBA diver, hang glider, firearms instructor, pest control technician, speed reader, American Red Cross Disaster Action Team member, and CERT disaster worker.  I’m also an Eagle Scout and fluent in Spanish and conversational in Italian.

WHAT DID YOU STUDY IN SCHOOL TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE?2019-07-29T10:04:54+00:00

Grades were always really important to me.  I was a good student, but a little on the nerdy side.  I was very interested in science, electronics, and reading informational books far more than novels.  My bachelor’s degree in college was Sociology with a certification in Criminology and Corrections, an emphasis in Abnormal Psychology, and a Spanish minor.  I absolutely love learning and studying new material, especially if it means getting certified in something.  I don’t often read novels or anything for pure entertainment purposes because I can’t find the time.  At any given moment, I’m probably reading four different books for informational motives (biographies, human psychology, historic events, career manuals, etc.).  Because of the amount of reading I do, I took a certification course in speed reading to absorb material more quickly.  On a good day, I average about 800 wpm (words per minute), whereas before I started the course I was reading at a dismal  250 wpm.  If you’re interested in some of the books I’ve read, check out my Goodreads profile HERE.

I love studying languages too.  I lived in Chile for a few years and became fluent in Spanish.  Then I lived in Australia for a year and became fluent in Australian.  I’m currently studying Italian.  Once I become semi-fluent in that language, I’ll go back to studying Greek so I can communicate with my relatives in Athens when I visit.  I need to be able to tell them, “I can’t eat another bite of your delicious food or I’ll explode.”

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOWS AND MOVIES?2019-07-29T10:09:57+00:00

Ironically, I don’t watch much TV at all even though I work in the industry.  I’m creating so many side businesses and TV concepts that I just can’t find the time.  When I do have a few hours, I like to spend it doing proactive things with my family which rarely involves sitting on the couch.  I probably watch a total of about 30 minutes per month and currently don’t have cable service.  Sorry, I’m not a gamer either.  I loved video games when I was in junior high, but I haven’t played since.  On of my key pieces of advice to people if they want to accomplish their goals is to limit themselves to a max of two television or online shows at a time and no more.  Everyone deserves some time everyday to unwind.  Everybody’s different in the way they use entertainment to relieve stress so I try not to criticize them for that.  I do however find a huge problem in that the average American spends 11 hours per day consuming media (TV, social media, music, surfing the web, etc.).  Incredible!  It’s no wonder we’re losing our people skills and feeling isolated from each other.  Use media to inspire you in small doses, then go live your life in the 1st person and not as a spectator!

Back to the original question… my favorite TV shows have been The X Files (the reboot is good too), 24Designated Survivor, and a slight addiction to The Walking Dead, until it turned really violent and I missed several episodes and got behind.  For movies, I love action/adventure like James Bond, the Fugitive, and Mission Impossible genre types of shows.  I also love inspirational dramas, survival stories like Cast Away and Unbroken.  The first movie I ever remember seeing in a theater was E.T.

WHAT MADE YOU SWITCH TO THE TV INDUSTRY AND LEAVE YOUR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT?2019-07-29T17:53:53+00:00

When I was younger, I actually thought I would probably work for the same employer my whole career.  That’s how it was for my father, my grandfather, and probably his father.  It’s interesting how times have now changed.  The average American switches careers 5-7 times in their lifetime- that’s “careers”, not just jobs.  It’s predicted that today’s average young adult will have between 12 to 15 different jobs in their life time.  I think I’m probably well over that amount already and I’ve come to learn that it’s the new normal.  I just have too many things I want to do in life and ways I want to grow that I don’t know if I’ll ever work for just one employer again.

My formal education mostly prepared me for investigative work.  I worked for several investigative agencies, both public and private, but the FBI was one of the last and perhaps the most well-known of my former employers and therefore the one most cited when referring to my background.  While every bureaucracy has their problems, overall I found my experience to be enjoyable and I worked with some incredible people.  When I left employment with the government, I left the door open to go back to the FBI or another law enforcement agency and have had a few offers over the years.  I’ve always had a passion for serving in the public sector and using my skills to put away criminals, but I’ve also always wanted to be able to explore the mysteries that held my attention since I was a child.  Not many people are lucky enough to be able to go on adventures and get paid to do it.  Although I had no real TV or film experience, the opportunity to host a TV show on the paranormal subject was presented to me and I went for it to try it out!  My TV interests since then have expanded to include any concept that involves adventure and learning something along the way.

WHERE CAN I MEET YOU OR ATTEND AN EVENT YOU’RE HOSTING?2019-07-30T06:37:58+00:00

The events page at BenHansen.com has the most up-to-date calendar of events.  I normally attend 6 to 12 different conferences and other public events per year.  I also deliver customized motivational speeches, trainings, and workshops for corporate or speciality conferences.  If you organize events and would like to have me as a guest or think there’s an event I should attend, please have your event organizer contact my manager Mike Roberts.  His contact info can be found on the contact page.

WHEN WERE YOU FIRST INTERESTED IN THE PARANORMAL, CRYPTID, AND UFO SUBJECTS?2019-07-29T10:48:09+00:00

I’ve been interested in paranormal mysteries since I was about 5 years old and saw the movie E.T.  I especially took an interest in the subject of UFOs and space travel, although I was afraid the topics were rather nerdy and I was embarrassed that my friends would find out I studied them.  My dad brought me books and newspaper clippings, but I would hide the UFO material when my friends came to visit.  I started my first ghost hunting excursions while I was in college and about that time I also became really interested in cryptozoology.  In being open-minded about various theories and phenomena, I always tell people, “Don’t believe everything you hear, but don’t disbelieve something just because you haven’t heard it before.”

ARE YOU A BELIEVER OR SKEPTIC?2019-07-29T18:19:52+00:00

I really resist using the binary terms “believer” and “skeptic” because it implies that someone is either all in one camp or the other.  Any study that uses science and reason in its methodology and tries to balance it with experiential evidence should have a healthy dose of skepticism.  That’s why I say people should always be “skeptical”, but have an open mind.  I don’t see myself perhaps as a “skeptic” in the popular sense of the term.  I also don’t see my role as needing to “debunk” claims either.  I like to think of it more as “verifying”.  You should always investigate your own experiences before you present them to others for peer review.  If you truly want to know the reality of an event- and not just use it to support a predetermined conclusion- then why would you not?

When I witness an extraordinary event (which I’ve seen many), I don’t stretch my possible explanations of that event to be more extraordinary than the event itself.  For example, I once witnessed with my wife a silent, black triangle object fly at an incredible speed over our heads.  There is no use trying to convince me it was a meteor, a helicopter, a Chinese lantern, a laser projection, etc.  That would be ludicrous to suggest.  At the close distance I saw it, I can definitely say it was at the very least, a non-conventional aircraft of some sort.  But I also won’t tell you it was alien technology.  I really respect people who can stick to the facts.  If they speculate, they also readily admit they are speculating.  I can’t tell you who or what was inside the craft flying it or if anyone was inside.  But I can tell you what it looked like, how it appeared transparent on the bottom, how fast it was probably going, and how big it probably was.  Does that make me anymore of a “believer” in extraterrestrial life?  Well, I see it more a matter of probabilities and percentages.  That’s how science works.  Since practically every scientific theory has been majorly overhauled several times over the centuries, I don’t think anyone who is being intellectually honest can say that we 100% have the answers to these mysteries yet.  If I take into account all of the documented evidence and my personal experiences, I would probably give you a 95% chance that we’ve already been visited from life on other worlds.  As far as my belief in life after death, I’d place that at 99.99%.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION ON A TV SHOW?2019-07-29T22:51:32+00:00

I have lots of different investigations that are my favorites for different reasons.  One of the most perplexing cases was on Fact or Faked and was called the “UK Disappearing Woman”.  We had a video of a woman who seemingly disappears from her bed for 13 minutes, almost dissolving into her mattress.  I also get lots of questions and comments about the “Fresno Nightcrawler” case on the same series where the video depicts strange creatures walking across a family’s front lawn.  Although I was not with the team on that case, I feel that if it were hoaxed, the home owner had to be in on it.  He didn’t seem to fit a typical hoaxer profile.  If it wasn’t CGI, then the man recorded some extremely bizarre phenomena.

On Ghosts of Morgan City, we captured an amazing video from our surveillance IR camera as I was watching the live feed.  It appears that a full body apparition walks across a doorway in the old plantation home we were investigating.  Unless there was an illusion of transparency caused by the motion blur of a real person who had inadvertently entered the home without our knowledge, then we undoubtedly captured extraordinary evidence.

I also have favorite investigations because they were my first time witnessing a strange event.  For example, the “Indiana Graveyard Caretaker” case was the first time I witnessed what was a truly convincing event of object manipulation.  I’m still searching for a plausible alternative explanation, but I saw right in front of me a pile of leaves depress in the shape of a footprint.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN FILMING FACT OR FAKED: PARANORMAL FILES?2019-07-29T17:20:09+00:00

I received word that a production company was looking to create a paranormal show.  When I was introduced to the production, I had a group of friends I’d known for quite a while who had investigated with me as part of a rather informal paranormal group.  We all sat down and started discussing ideas of what types of paranormal shows were currently on TV and what types of things we felt were missing from those shows.  From those brainstorming sessions, we narrowed our focus to looking at alleged paranormal videos and photos.  Our goal was to bring new and cross-over technology to the field in an effort to sift through the merits of a case, utilizing a more methodical process than had been done previously on TV.   My father contributed greatly to the concept of using viral videos to weigh the claims of evidence people were making.  Simultaneously, Bill Murphy (my cohost lead) was working with his wife Anita on the angle of replicating the videos and photos through different experiments.  The production company put the final written treatment together and pitched it to the Syfy network.  After about a year from our first meeting, the show was green lit by network and we were filming!

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN FILMING GHOSTS OF MORGAN CITY?2019-07-29T17:52:14+00:00

Ghosts of Morgan City is really a continuation or spin-off from a hit TV show called Ghosts of Shepherdstown that aired for two seasons on Destination American in the U.S.  The show was hosted by a good friend of mine, Nick Groff (most well known for his role in creating and hosting Ghost Adventurers).  In 2017, I made a guest appearance on Ghosts of Shepherdstown with Nick and his crew and I really loved the concept of working with local police departments to help solve the cases in which they felt they didn’t have expertise.  Nick and his team did such a good job assisting the small West Virginia community that word spread to other rural police departments.  In fact, the way I understand it, Chief King became neighbors with a former police chief from Morgan City, Louisiana and a discussion started as to how a paranormal team might be able to help them with unusual cases in a similar way.  The current police chief and mayor in Morgan City were connected to Jereme Leonard (our local paranormal expert) and to the TV production company.  Because it looked like the paranormal activity had subsided in Shepherdstown, the decision was made to take the next season to Louisiana.

I was brought in as part of the new team through discussions with the production company and Jereme.  Jereme and I had been connected for a few years to each other via social media.  He consulted with me on previous paranormal matters so I was eager to hear what he had to say about the problems St. Mary Parish was experiencing.  I actually met Sarah Lemos (our psychic medium) on a cruise ship.  I had been invited to lecture and attend a “Ghost Cruise” on a Norwegian Cruise Line excursion to the Mediterranean.  Sarah was one of the other speakers doing workshops at the event.  I had never before had a psychic reading, but was open to the idea that some people have legitimate gifts.  Sarah demonstrated her skills and told me things about my grandfather that would have been very difficult to fabricate if you didn’t know him.  I was so impressed that I recommended Sarah to the production company as my choice.  I knew I could trust her instincts and that her insight would be very valuable to our investigations.  In the same way that Nick Groff, Elizabeth Saint, and Bill Hartley did an excellent job in forging a successful relationship with the Shepherdstown PD and community, my team in Morgan City has made lifelong friendships and hopefully improved the lives of those who were experiencing often scary and traumatic events.

I HAVE AN IDEA FOR A NEW REALITY SHOW OR DOCUMENTARY. CAN I CONTACT YOU ABOUT IT?2019-07-30T06:21:34+00:00

Due in large part to the success of Fact or Faked, I’ve branched out from TV hosting and have also started executive producing several new shows in development.  If you think you have a really good idea for a new show (it doesn’t have to be paranormally themed) I’d love to listen to your pitch.  There is a lot of work that goes into developing a TV show however.  Any production company you pitch to will value your contribution much more if you can demonstrate the effort, detail, and concept development you’ve already put into it.  If you want to take part in the production, always ask yourself, “What makes my concept unique and what do I bring to the table?”  I put together a short guide that can help those who don’t have much or any experience in developing TV concepts.  The guide can be found  HERE.

CAN I GET AN AUTOGRAPHED PICTURE OR DO YOU HAVE OTHER SWAG FOR SALE?2019-07-30T07:02:34+00:00

Unfortunately, most TV networks don’t provide their hosts with photos, postage, or the means to offer free printed material to followers.  With the number of requests and all of the costs coming out-of-pocket, the expense can add up quickly.  If you’re at an event I’m attending, come say hi and I’d love to take a photo with you or sign anything you provide free of charge.  I often have printed photos for sale at those events as well.  Unfortunately, at this time I don’t have any sales and shipping method set up to have followers submit photos for signing or to purchase online.  I hope to find a solution for such requests soon.

As far as TV show memorabilia at this time, the networks don’t have DVDs of the shows I’ve hosted or other officially branded clothing or products.  For several years I’ve been in the process of writing my first book.  When and if that is completed, the book will be available for online purchase.