top of page

History of The R.E.A.L.M.S Institute

From humble beginnings as a post-war undergarment manufacturer to the renowned Questionable Science facility it is today, The R.E.A.L.M.S. Institute has a rich history spanning many decades.

EARLY YEARS (1948-1952)

The R.E.A.L.M.S. Institute was first realized in 1948, when after the Second World War, an unidentified non-governmental governing agency began purchasing and refurbishing local manufacturing plants for a top secret project. The first and most prominent of these facilities was Jeremiah Flebble's "Wonder Under" factory, which had produced the short lived "R.E.A.L.M.S." undergarment using newly developed quantum-polymer fibers. While it is allegedly from this garment that the institute gets its name, the specifics of the R.E.A.L.M.S acronym have been lost to time.


R.E.A.L.M.S.'s top-secret mission was the development and production of low-cost, high durability carpet and furnishings to populate model "doom towns" in the Nevada Desert. These towns were exposed to nuclear eruptions to observe the seismic, physical, and radioactive aftereffects. From 1950 to 1961, R.E.A.L.M.S. created two model farms, one model butcher's shop, and nearly one-half a model citizen, but the institute was most famous for its model minigolf courses.

We have records of over 30 courses being built, each one containing anywhere from 6-18 holes. 15 of these courses were designed by 24-year intern Lillian Tintbutter, daughter of General Tintbutter, who ran the nuclear testing project for most of its lifetime.

"I pulled Lil into my office. I asked her, 'Now sweetheart, why do you keep building all these minigolf courses?' And she said to me, 'I didn't think it mattered what we built, pa, since it's all going to get blown up anyway.' I couldn't argue with her there."

Excerpt from The Personal Diary of General Aldus Tintbutter. July 14, 1956

DECLINE (1975-1986)

By 1975, nuclear testing had begun to decline in popularity and feasibility. Funds were being shifted into other fields. With no new contracts lined up, The R.E.A.L.M.S. Institute entered a period of stagnation, and would have shut its doors for good if not for the efforts of Dr. Clark Barfton.

Dr. Barfton was a brilliant Physicist, Psychologist, and proponent for Questionable Science. He spent much of his early career advocating for the underutilized field of Hyper-dimensional Putting Physics. His 1979 essay "How Hyper-dimensional Putting Physics Saved My Marriage" gained critical acclaim in the scientific community, and Dr. Barfton was soon granted a seat on the R.E.A.L.M.S. Institute's board of directors.

A NEW ERA (1986-1994)

Reusing Tintbutter's old blueprints from the 1950s testing models, the scientists at The R.E.A.L.M.S. Institute began developing revolutionary new putting challenges that would shake the foundations of Physics, Psychology, and Marriage the world over. By 1994, Two full courses had been designed, and the Spherical Personality Matrix Module and Negative Reinforcement device we all use today had entered its prototype phase. But Dr. Barfton struggled to get clearance to do human trials for his courses.

"They had the temerity to tell me 'What you're doing is not entirely safe or ethical!' 'There is a high probability human test subjects could be transported to another dimension, plasmatised, or transmogrified!' YES, that is the whole point of the experiments!!!"

-Excerpt Dr. Barfton's essay, If Transmogrifying Humans is Wrong, I Don't Want To Be Right February 4th, 1992


Dr. Barfton retired in 2004, but work on the putting challenges continued. Refinements were made, and new technologies continued to be incorporated. Then, after nearly 40 years of closed trials, the non-governmental governing agency's Test Subject Supportive Encouragement Division experienced a sudden shortage of funds, and could not afford to pay new test subjects. (there is no known record of what happened to the old ones, so don't ask.) It is at this time that testing finally became open to the public. The R.E.A.L.M.S. Institute named this newest stage of experimentation Project: PUTT!

Today, the declassified Project:Putt! Facility 001 welcomes brave test subjects in Malden and beyond, and charges them with redefining humanity's often-tumultuous relationship with physics. When science knocks, will you invite it in for a snack?


Get to Know Our Facilites


Each enclosure is closely monitored via  audio, visual, olfactory, and various extra-sensory surveillance systems, and reviewed by the appropriate specialists. Please speak with an attendant if you experience any spatial and temporal displacement.

All Project: PUTT! experiments are to be conducted within the constraints expressed in the experiment documentation provided. This will provide for a greater variety of simulated risks with a minimum of legal and moral exposure.


Early prototype of the Negative Reinforcement Device, circa 1995

Every scientist needs their tools, and every test subject needs their Negative Reinforcement Device (nicknamed "PUTTER" for your convenience) and Spherical Personality Matrix Module (nicknamed "BALL" for your convenience)!

By setting the Negative Reinforcement Motivator Unit to "Provocation" and using only a slight amount of exertion, our test subjects can reliably create motivation and subsequent motion in the Spherical Personality Matrix. Now you're putting with power!


BALLSY made his first appearance in 1957,  on a billboard in The R.E.A.L.M.S. Institute’s 4th model minigolf course. The character was copied from a sketch drawn in the margins of architect Donald Von Vindmille’s blueprints. It was then reused in a trial run of the 1965 “Caricature to Intelligent Charichatronic” experiments, where Ballsy was converted to a synthetic life form.

Until the paperwork comes back from the Ethics Committee granting us permission to decommission him, BALLSY is here to stay and has become part of the The R.E.A.L.M.S. Institute family! An unofficial mascot of our Project: Putt! facility, he has appeared on numerous promotional artworks, and is a perfectly safe, friendly companion as long as you don’t make fun of his height.



Project PUTT! Facility 001 has been battling a recent outbreak of unicorns on our course, and we believe they may have found some unattended cotton candy machine in the bowels of the building to form a nest. Since unicorns are magical and not real, Their presence causes temporally and physically anomalous readings on our finely-tuned sensors. Consequently, experiments performed in the vicinity of unicorns are invalidated, and any findings rendered apocryphal.

We ask all test subjects not to bring unicorns into the facility with them, even if they ask nicely. Some test subjects may be subjected to a unicorn contaminate scan before stepping into the testing area.

bottom of page