Ben is an Accountant & Roswell UFO Researcher
Ben Loggins talks about how he first became interested in studying UFO events, talking about it in the workplace and as a public speaker, and why it is important to have flexibility in the workplace!
• Getting into UFOs
• Meeting the 6th man to walk the moon
• Public speaking
• Talking to employees about UFOs at work
• Promoting flexibility in the office
• Caring about the people in the workplace
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Welcome to Episode 375 of What’s Your “And”? This is John Garrett, and each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby or a passion or an interest outside of work. To put it another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “And”, those things above and beyond your technical skills, the things that actually differentiate you when you’re at work.
If you like what this show is about, be sure to check out the book on Amazon, Indigo, barnesandnoble.com, Bookshop and a few other websites. All the links are at whatsyourand.com. The book goes into a lot more in depth in the research behind why these outside-of-work passions are so crucial to your corporate culture. I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s reading it and writing such great reviews on Amazon, and more importantly, changing the cultures where they work because of it. If you like my voice, the audio version is coming very soon.
Don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the interesting stories from each and every week, and this week is no different with my guest, Ben Loggins. He’s an owner at Logins, Kern and McCombs, just outside of Atlanta, and now he’s with me here today. Ben, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Ben: No problem, John. It’s great to be here.
John: This is going to be so much fun, so much fun. I have some rapid-fire questions, get to know Ben right out of the gate here. I’ll start you with an easy one, I think. Favorite color.
Ben: Baby blue.
John: Baby Blue. Okay. All right. How about a least favorite color?
Ben: Black is just darkness. I prefer not to be in the darkness and black, yeah.
John: Okay, fair enough. Fair enough. How about, do you have a favorite adult beverage?
Ben: Pretty much just beer. I like Sam Adams. Sam Adams lager is what I like right now.
John: There you go. That works. How about Sudoku or crossword puzzles?
Ben: I really don’t do either one.
John: All right, fair enough. Fair enough. Well, you’re out there researching UFOs. You don’t have time for that stuff. How about a favorite actor or actress?
Ben: Well, the actor right now, I like the Rock, certainly Tom Hanks and Robin Williams. As far as actress, probably Sandra Bullock, and you go back in time to Sally Field. The one thing I ask people too, do you remember The Graduate movie come out in 19 — when it came out, I was 18 when it came out in 1968, and I thought Miss Robinson was so old. I saw her recently now. She looks so young. I’m figuring out the differences. Same movie, how could she look so much younger now than she did 50 years ago?
John: That’s hilarious. Who knows? We don’t know what they’re doing with movies. Or we’re getting older. One of the two.
Ben: That’s right.
John: How about when you were in gym class in school, favorite activity?
Ben: Gee, I’d probably say running if I said something. Yeah.
John: All right, fair enough. How about, are you more of an early bird or a night owl?
Ben: A little bit more of an early bird. I’m a little bit older now, so I kind of give out, come the evenings. Certainly, I get up early in the morning and do what little exercise I’m going to do and stuff, so it’s early bird.
John: There you go. All right. How about when it comes to books, real book, Kindle or an audio version?
Ben: I like real books still. It’s just the old school kind of thing that I’m used to.
John: Yeah, same to me. Yeah, to feel it and all that. Since you have the accounting background, favorite number?
Ben: I would probably say number eight or something like that. There’s really not any specific reason, but number eight.
John: Eight? Yeah, that’s a good number. It’s very symmetrical and so I like it. That’s a good one. How about a favorite movie of all time?
Ben: Favorite movie of all time. I don’t know. I most certainly like most of the Star — I’ll just say Star Wars. That’ll be fine.
John: Star Wars. Okay, yeah. No, that’s a great one because I was going to ask you next, Star Wars or Star Trek.
Ben: Star Trek. Star Trek was more of a — they had a different thing every week on their stuff. Of course I was there when it was the originally shown, so I’m remembering well. It was great to watch every week, so I enjoyed both of them.
John: Okay. That’s awesome. Very cool. How about your computer, more of a PC or a Mac?
Ben: PC. I’m doing this today on my Surface.
John: Oh, yeah. Travel with one of those is fantastic. Super lightweight, really thin. Fantastic. How about a favorite ice cream flavor? I love ice cream.
Ben: Probably Oreo.
John: Oh, there you go. How about season, favorite season, summer, winter, spring or fall?
Ben: Probably fall because spring is too much tax season. Summer gets a little hot, and the fall is kind of nice. Yeah, it would be fall.
John: Yeah. Well, especially down in Georgia, yeah, summer is pretty hot.
Ben: My kid and my wife would always complain during the spring. Oh, spring break, dad, where are we going to go? No, we’re not going nowhere. I’m working. The way it always was.
John: That’s hilarious. That’s funny. How about balance sheet or income statement?
Ben: Probably balance sheet. Shows you the picture. Income statement is a moving target. It’s a little bit harder to see. The balance sheet can show you a picture of time.
John: Fair enough. Fair enough. Chocolate or vanilla.
Ben: Probably vanilla.
John: Vanilla? All right, and last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own.
Ben: Well, I built a new house about five years ago, so it would probably be my house. I built it custom, just exactly the way I want it, and I really enjoy it.
John: That’s fantastic, man. That’s very, very cool. Let’s talk UFOs. How’d you get into that? Has it been a lifelong thing?
Ben: Well, no. I tell people that we’re here on Earth for one reason is to raise good kids, so I believe in supporting my child. Early on, she was an ice skater, so I did ice skating with her for about 10 years. I was on the Governing Council of the United States Figure Skating Association, did a bunch of stuff there.
Then in the early 2000s, she took a liking to a TV show called Roswell. It was about some teenagers that had converted to the aliens, and she was, I don’t know, caught up. She did some blogging for them. They hired her to do some stuff. She said, “Dad, I’d really like to go to Roswell, learn about their original thing.”
Every summer, either the last week of June or first week of July, they have a festival. Anybody who’s interested, it would be a great thing to go to. About, I don’t know, five or 10,000 people show up to talk about UFOs, their experience with UFOs. We went to that. Now we’ve been to that three times, and the last time we went out there, went on a dig of a crash site. My daughter and I and a bunch of people from MUFON did a dig at a crash site.
John: Where they say a UFO crashed?
Ben: Well, the crash site. The question, was it a UFO or not? There certainly was debris, and no one questions the site and the crash. It’s about, I don’t know, maybe 70 miles north of Roswell, out in the high desert. I don’t know how high it is, but we were there in October and, boy, it was cold wind. It was a desert. Again, it’s in high desert. It was interesting.
First time we went out there in ‘04, I was kind of novice at that point in time. You go to this novice seminars. You get people. You go to their seminars. One person talking about being able to meditate and talk to aliens in their head. Another person, you go to another seminar, and it’s theologians arguing about the UFOs and the Bible, and there are comments about UFOs in the Bible. They argued about that and go back to the Hebrew Bible. Really interesting to see the different people.
At that time, I built a friendship with some of the people in charge out there, mainly with Don Schmitt, and Tom Carey who, Don’s probably the number one Roswell UFO person now. He’s on TV. Any time doing a show, he’s on it. Bonded with him. I also met Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon. He spoke to a group. After speaking, my wife and daughter and I went out and had supper. He walked in by himself, so we, “Come over and have dinner with us.”
John: Oh, wow, that’s awesome.
Ben: It’s not many times you get to meet the sixth man to walk on the moon.
John: Right, or any of them.
Ben: Interesting fellow. In 2005, I love to public speak. Back in my initial career, I was at IRS. I was an IRS agent then I was an IRS classroom — they taught me how to be a classroom instructor, and I really enjoyed public speaking. I’ve probably given a UFO presentation maybe 40 times, mainly to Kiwanis clubs and rotary clubs and things like that. So, I did a video. I know you’ve got the link. You put up the link.
John: Yeah, I have it up on the show page for everybody.
Ben: They want to go see my presentation. It’s really been interesting to see the people and meet the UFO experts. We met Travis Walton. Now, Travis in, I don’t know, ‘78 or sometime, he was abducted on an alien craft for five days. They did a movie about his stuff. It’s called Fire in the Sky. You go look at that movie about Travis, but Travis, he’s an interesting fellow. We had dinner with him one night. I think that was in ‘12. That would have been in ‘12. Interesting people. That’s a great thing to go if someone has interest in UFOs at all.
John: That’s cool. So, it all just started because your daughter was watching the show, Roswell, and just doing some research on it. Then it was like, well, let’s go there and see what it’s all about.
Ben: That’s exactly how it got started.
John: That’s amazing. What is the dig? I’m guessing in my head, but what is it actually? Because I imagine it’s a decent-sized area.
Ben: Well, it is. The debris was scattered over an area of about three football fields. The dig, we went up there — I think I put a couple of pictures in since YouTube — they plotted out in squares and then they go over it with metal detectors, square by square, trying to find things. Here it is, 50 years later. We found a few anomaly materials that they sent off to be inspected. I’ve never heard a report back of what they found, but it was a fun thing. It was about 40 people there and going over it. Some of the people were MUFON peoples from Arizona. They had been there at the time that the Phoenix Lights had occurred and stuff. It was really interesting event, to be there for those three days.
John: Yeah, that’s amazing. I imagine it’s not just those three days. It carries on throughout the rest of the year, where you’re doing some research or reading about it or —
Ben: I’m doing research. I like to watch the things on TV that come up about it, needless to say. The actual movie they did which is called, Roswell, is really good. Martin Sheen is the main character in that. It’s an excellent depiction of what occurred. I know Don Schmitt was one of the background people to give them context, so that’s a great movie of what happened. It’s really interesting to see.
On my video, typically when I do my presentations, I think it’s 22 minutes long, but there’s about 12 or 15 minutes of embedded videos from eyewitness people, to people who talked to eyewitness people to hear their stories. It’s hard to go out there and immerse yourself in the history of what happened and talk to all these people and not believe something pretty odd happened. It wasn’t just a weather balloon.
Ben: I know that Don Schmitt and Tom wrote a book where they interviewed probably, I don’t know, 20, 30 people and have their testimony. Of course you’re looking at, when we went out to the dig, it would have been in ‘13, so it would have been, what, 55 years after the crash. Even then, the people were beginning to die off that had direct involvement. Now it’s 75 years after the crash, one of the people we talked to was Frankie Rowe, who was involved. Her dad went out to the crash and met the alien characters, and she tells about that. We interviewed her on my little video there.
Now you’re looking at it, later and later, so the people are beginning to die off. Less eye witness people and more of the secondary people is really what’s there now, but still great time to go to the festival. Again, Roswell festival, UFO festival, might come up with that on — I don’t know how it went this summer with the COVID and everything, probably messed them up. Still, it’s a great event.
John: That’s fantastic, and you accidentally have dinner with an astronaut.
Ben: Right. It was great, yeah.
John: Cool things, plus it just broadens your perspective, and it’s all kinds of people that are there, I imagine, all backgrounds. It’s not just one type of person. You have a variety of people that are all coming together to learn more and to talk more and discuss.
Ben: It’s not just Roswell. They had a seminar one night on crop circles. Now that was really interesting. The context is crop circles are like, you look at hurricanes and tornadoes, it’s like the Earth burping and comes up with a crop circle. It’s very similar thing to how tornadoes occur. Well, they’re odd atmospheric things. The same thing with this, the Earth burping, so to speak, and causing your crop circles. It’s interesting to see it.
Other people talking about other alien things. There was one there with a Starbaby, had a skull from a half-alien, half-human hybrid that they found way back when. It’s called the Starbaby is what his book was about. Lloyd Pye wrote that. It’s interesting to see all these different people and their different perspectives on alien culture and UFO culture.
John: That is interesting. Do you feel like any of this translates to work at all? Part of me thinks that your IRS background, clearly, getting into the nitty-gritty and researching and all that, there’s some parallel there.
Ben: Maybe a little bit. When I go and give my speech, I get a call from a rotary club and they’ll say, “Oh, we want you to come and speak.” They have accountants in their club. I’ll tell them, nobody hires me as their accountant from this talk.
Ben: I love to speak. I get power from speaking to groups, and I love to public speak. I do it more for fun than I do, certainly, to get clients. Although I do a lot of speaking too, on accounting stuff, to get clients, but this presentation is a pure fun thing that I do.
John: Absolutely, but sometimes there’s accidentally a skill or a mindset or something that’s a muscle that you’re exercising outside of work that then when you get to work, or it’s talking about it at work. Is it something that you do discuss with coworkers or clients?
Ben: Oh, yeah. The coworkers all know how I feel. The first time I came back in ‘04, they had a party for me. I think I sent you a couple pictures of me. They did a jello UFO baby, and I was supposed to dissect it and stuff. The employees really enjoyed it. A lot of my friends think it’s interesting. I tell people, anytime, you hear the full 22-minute story, then you say, geez, the government is lying to us, so you come away knowing that government lying to us. Of course, that’s pretty easy to convince you the government lies to you. We know they lied to us about tons of stuff.
John: Right, right. Exactly. Exactly.
Ben: They say, why won’t they disclose it? I say, well, if you had some technique to turn paper into gold, would you want to tell everybody how to do that? No. You will keep it for yourself to keep it valuable. The government’s supposed to be reverse engineering all this stuff at Area 51. It’s really very interesting.
John: No, no, it is, and it’s something to talk about besides work when you’re at work.
Ben: Oh, yeah.
John: How important do you think it is that people have an outside-of-work interest to bring to the office or to enhance their career at all?
Ben: Well, it certainly broadens their flexibility and their knowledge of things by having outside. A lot of people, and certainly when my daughters were young, it was more focused around her. She got older, then we got into these other things. A lot of people have children. I tell people that, look, children are the most important thing. I’ve got my 17 employees. I think six of them have been with me for 35 years just because —
Ben: I say, look, we’ve got flexibility. If your kids have a ballgame, go be with your kid. Do whatever you need to, for your kid. As long as the work gets done, that’s all I care about. So employees have stayed with me for a long time because they enjoy the work environment and the flexibility. Not so much the UFO stuff. That’s not a big part of the work environment. Although I do have books on the shelves behind me showing — talking about UFO. If someone he wants to talk about it, I’ll certainly talk about it.
There’s a lot of wild theories out there as to how the Earth came to be and how the UFOs caused it. The Ancient Aliens talk a lot about it too, on the TV series on the History Channel. It’s all interesting. I do find it interesting as to how the aliens have influenced our society and how we’ve gotten to where we are. It’s interesting.
John: No, it really is. I think what’s really crucial, especially with, literally, your name on the door, is that it humanizes you, whether it’s the ice skating, or it’s the UFO thing. I think it’s cool that you came back from that first trip, and they had a party. That’s awesome. Imagine if every single employee of every place you work, if you went on a trip somewhere for something that really lights you up, and you came back, and they had a party themed for that. That’d be awesome. It’s like, wow, my people care.
Ben: It was awesome. We try to bring fun into the work environment, so the employees can get enjoyment out of it and certainly feel like the workers are their friends, not just their coworkers, and not having those petty things you have between a lot of employees. I don’t feel like we have any of those. Of course right now, it’s me and 15 women. So, again, it’s different.
John: Right, different dynamic.
Ben: Different dynamic, that’d be the way to say it. Still, they’re great employees, and I love all of them.
John: That’s cool to hear. You genuinely care about them, and they genuinely care about you. That’s the thing that I feel professionalism kind of prevents. It makes us more two-dimensional. No one cares about your ice skating or whatever. It’s like, no, they do. They do care.
Ben: It’s great to have that where the employees care about each other and want each other to be the most — couple of employees, I’ve helped them find other jobs because they maxed out where I was. I said, look — they weren’t CPAs, they were clerical staff — I said, look, this is as high as you can come here. They agreed, so I helped them find other jobs somewhere else where they can do more. It’s more about caring about that person. I want them to be all they can be, rather than just care about how much profit I carry home.
John: Yeah. I love that so much, so much. That’s so fantastic. Do you have any big takeaways for people listening or words of encouragement for somebody that has a hobby that they think, well, it has nothing to do with my job and no one’s going to care about it?
Ben: Well, you need to broaden your horizons and have these outside hobbies and interests, certainly. Most of my employees have something on the side, either their young kids or their work kids. Some of them play musical instruments and play in little bands and stuff. Again, it’s a matter of finding something out there to do that brings you fulfillment in life, and certainly something that you can do when you get older, when you retire.
I tell people too, they need a calling in life. When you retire or when you cut back, you need to feel like you’re still a value to society. You need to be bringing some kind of value into society. Otherwise, you get to the point where you just feel like there’s no value to it anymore, and why are you here? So, it’s important to have your life well-rounded enough to be able to enjoy these other pieces of life.
John: Yeah, what a great tip. That’s something that I didn’t realize when I was speaking on this for the first couple of years and then started doing some consulting with organizations and then had an executive pull me aside and say, “I’m supposed to retire in three years, and I don’t know what I’m going to go do.” That’s when it hit me. What? I was thinking of while you’re working, how it enhances the culture and engagement and retention but, man, after you retire, you have to have, like you said, a sense of purpose and something to go to.
Ben: My dad retired at 57. He was a postman. The next 25 years, he just played his guitar every day, old folks home, anybody listening to him. Again, and they enjoyed it. It’s a matter of you feeling value to society and you bring that value to, no matter if it’s just delivering Meals on Wheels or doing something, so that you feel like there’s a need for you to be here.
John: I love that. I love that so much, so, so much. Well, this has been so much fun, Ben. It’s only fair that before I bring this in for a landing, that I turn the tables and make this the first episode of the Ben Loggins podcast. Thanks for having me on. Yeah, I’m all yours. Fire away.
Ben: John, what do you think about UFOs? Do you feel like there are really aliens that come to visit us? Or what are your thoughts on UFO?
John: You know, I watched your video, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the government would lie to us about something like that. It also wouldn’t surprise me if there was something that was bigger and better and more sophisticated than us, another living something. It is hard to believe that we would be the only ones in the entire universe that are. I’m sure that there’s something out there that’s living. Whether or not they’re abducting us or they’re whatever, it’s hard for me to say. You can tell in the conviction from the people on your video that, wow, yeah, something happened. That’s for sure.
Ben: One of the theories is they’re abducting women and steal their eggs and abducting men and take their sperm and make hybrid creatures.
Ben: Travis Walton talks about the different kind of creatures he came in contact when he spent five days on the alien craft. So, really interesting to see, and you don’t know. Again, it’s a theory. To me, if you go to Roswell for that festival, you meet all these characters that have been abducted or done something. I certainly suggest, if you enjoy that kind of thing, it’s a side trip to make.
John: For sure. It’s one of those things where there’s definitely something bigger. It’s hard to say definitely not because there are so many possibilities out there that, yeah, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. I just hope that they’re friendly.
Ben: You hope they’ll come back to eat us all. I mean, that’s really what you hope.
John: Yikes. Right? Exactly.
Ben: There was a movie made a few years ago called Super 8. Have you ever seen that one?
John: I didn’t see that one. No.
Ben: Super 8 is a story, loosely, on moving the alien from Wright-Patterson to Area 51 back in the ‘50s. They had this great video, and they were making some videos. An alien escaped and ravaged this little town and tried to gut people to use them as food as he returned home or something. Really interesting movie. The question is, are they going to be like us, or are they going to be like Independence Day? Because that —
John: Oh, wow. Yeah.
Ben: Area 51 is right about that, and that’s where you see in the film. What are the aliens going to be like when they come back and forth? I don’t know.
John: I prefer the ET version, the chill and just super friendly and his heart is glowing. It’s like, all right. The bad thing with that is I’m sure that humans would wreck it. Because in that movie, it was people trying to kill him and get him, so I don’t know. Or even like a Men in Black. Those were pretty fun. Or like the Cantina from Star Wars. They’re all fun too.
John: Just the comedy brain in me makes me want to make them fun and interesting and lovable.
Ben: I saw somewhere on the… I forget where I saw the… I think it was on the internet today. Somewhere in Iowa has a headstone that says, Captain Kirk, born here in 2024 or whatever. So, it’s supposed to be his hometown, where he’s going to be born in 2024 to start Star Trek.
John: Oh, wow. Yeah, and that’s coming up.
John: It’s like those Back to the Future years and those — when those movies came out, it was so far in the future, and it’s like, we’ve already passed that. Hoverboards happened, like in those movies.
Ben: Yeah. You go back far enough and of course when you’re my age, you read 1984 in the late ‘60s. Oh, gee, this is never going to be the case. They ain’t got the surveil everybody, know everything. We’re almost there now.
John: We’re there.
Ben: It won’t take us long to get to there.
John: They’re listening to us right now, Ben.
Ben: I don’t doubt it. I don’t doubt it.
John: I appreciate you being a part of this. It was so much fun talking with you. I’m excited to be able to cross paths sometime when we’re traveling again. Thanks so much, Ben.
Ben: Let me know when you want to go to Roswell for the festival. I’m going to meet up with you out there. Okay?
John: That sounds awesome.
Everybody listening, if you want to see some pictures of Ben and his travels and what he’s seeing or connect with him on social media and check out that link to his video of him speaking, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. Everything’s there. While you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture. Don’t forget to check out the book. Audio version’s coming soon.
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