The Pine Barrens Institute is an online cryptozoological, Midwest folklore, and historic Fortean newspaper reference site which is based out of Janesville, Wisconsin. The focus of the site is to document, catalog, and help spread factual information pertaining to the folklore, legends, stories, and true accounts involving both the well-known and lesser known cryptid creatures, obscure stories, and forgotten monster accounts found throughout the world.
We are dedicated to being a trustworthy source of information void of any spin or agenda. We simply find the stories, present them to the reader, and allow them to decide whether they believe them or not.
The PBI was created by Adam Benedict in December of 2015 after spending countless years reading, watching, and learning everything he could about the fascinating world of Cryptozoology and Wisconsin folklore.
Originally started as a personal blog, the PBI has grown into a fully functioning website which has attracted the interest of thousands of visitors from around the world and has been recognized by some of the top names in the Fortean field.
The first part of our name - The Pine Barrens - was chosen as a tribute to one of the most recognized and famous creatures within the realm of cryptozoology, the Jersey Devil, whom is said to reside within the famous Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Much like those who have gathered on countless occasions within the Pine Barrens themselves in order to search for proof of the Jersey Devils existence, the PBI prides itself in being a gathering point online for those in search of “monsters”.
The second part of our name - Institute - was chosen based on the official definition of the word itself. The definition is as follows: Institute: noun - a society or organization having a particular objective or common factor, especially a scientific, educational, or social one. A body of people with a particular purpose.
Because of our desire (and purpose) to spread true information behind famous creatures, as well as document the official legends and stories which made them famous in the first place, we felt this word was fitting and is a vital part in our namesake.
*Note: The Pine Barrens Institute is not a school nor does it falsely represent itself as one.
Currently, the main logo of the PBI features a hairy unknown sasquatch-like creature set above the state of Wisconsin. This logo was created by Adam Benedict and is used exclusively online as well as having been printed on custom t-shirts, magnets, and stickers to promote the website.
Our podcast, known as ‘Cryptids & Conversations’, was created in 2018 as a way to further expand the reach of The PBI. The podcast is done in an interview/conversation format and each episode has one specific guest. The guests featured are those who have some sort of prominent hand in the Fortean world and who we feel have made an impact on this community as a whole.
Currently, our main artwork for the podcast features a Hodag interviewing The Wisconsin Man-Bat. This artwork was created exclusively by artist Will Barnes for use by The PBI.
The Pine Barrens Institute is always available to talk with anyone and everyone who has an interest in the unknown. If you have a media outlet (podcast, video channel, website, etc.) that you would like the PBI to make an appearance on, please get in touch with us at email@example.com.