The Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods will sate the curiosity of the most ardent amateur forensic fans. The site documents ongoing missing persons and murder cases, as well as revisits horrific crimes of the past decades.
From the site: "Written during the late 15th or 16th century, the origin and language of the Voynich Manuscript is still being debated vigorously by cryptologists. Described as a magical or scientific text, nearly every page contains botanical, figurative, and scientific drawings." A recent study does suggest that the text is not a hoax: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0066344; see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voynich_manuscript
The Human Marvels is a site "dedicated to highlighting the remarkable lives of those born exceedingly different. Human marvels who overcame seemingly horrific, socially crippling deformities and adverse situations to stand as uplifting testaments to human spirit and serve as inspiring examples of human tenacity."
Internet Sacred Text Archive is a free archive of online books about religion, mythology, folklore and the esoteric. From the site: "The site is dedicated to religious tolerance and scholarship, and has the largest readership of any similar site on the web."
Monster Mania is a collection of several websites about ghosts, werewolves, shapeshifters, and more. From the site: MonsterMania.org is devoted to monsters of all types, no matter where they may be. Some come from ancient mythology or today's urban legends. Others come from our favorite movies and novels."
From the site: "Ashé Journal was founded in 2002 by independent religious scholars, spiritual experimenters and investigators of new religious movements. The Journal is published bi-annually—issues distributed in print and online editions."
The Skeptical Inquirer is published by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. From the site: "The mission of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry is to promote scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims."
Arcanorium College is an on-line educational resource for the "Magical Arts," including sorcery, divination, the history and culture of Magic, and alternative physics. The college also features an extensive library of archives and links; common room areas for news, debates, and socialization; and workshop facilities with online magical tools which remain open between semesters.
From the site: "Unexplained Mysteries (no relation to the TV series of the same name) explores the unknown, the unsolved and the unusual. Covering subjects ranging from the mysteries of ancient Egypt and frontier sciences to the more controversial, we provide a place to discover and discuss alternative topics and meet other people who share similar interests. Unexplained Mysteries is one of the world's leading destinations for paranormal news, multimedia, and discussion."
From the site: "Fortean Times is a monthly magazine of news, reviews and research on strange phenomena and experiences, curiosities, prodigies and portents. It was founded by Bob Rickard in 1973 to continue the work of Charles Fort (1874-1932)... Fort was by no means the first person to collect anomalies and oddities, but Fortean Times keeps alive this ancient task of dispassionate weird-watching, exploring the wild frontiers between the known and the unknown."
From the site: "The Disinformation Company collects the most shocking, unusual, and quirkiest news articles, podcasts, and videos on the web, most of which are submitted by the site’s visitors. It is our intent that Disinformation becomes news that you did not know you needed… based on the idea that anyone can define what news is today in our hypermediated, cybercultural world."
For American fiction, few novels have had the resonance of Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." But did you know it was based upon the very real tragedy of the Essex, a Nantucket whaler that was sunk by a bull sperm whale in 1820? The PBS program American Experience also explored the connection between whaling, Melville, and the Essex: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/whaling/.
RationalWiki brings a diverse community together to explore a variety of topics centered around science, skepticism, and critical thinking. Their purpose includes: "analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement; documenting the full range of crank ideas; explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism; and analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media."
From the site: "Skeptoid is a weekly science podcast dedicated to furthering knowledge by blasting away the widespread pseudosciences that infect popular culture, and replacing them with way cooler reality." Skeptoid is run by Brian Dunning: computer scientist, science writer, and healthy inquirer of the extraordinary.
From the site: "In November 1846, a group of California-bound emigrants was trapped by snow in the Sierra Nevada. By the time the last member reached safety six months later, nearly half of the 81 men, women, and children had died of cold and starvation. Many of those who survived had resorted to cannibalism. The story of the Donner Party is one of the most fascinating in the history of the American West."
When Dutch artist Bart Jensen lost his beloved cat Orville (who died after being hit by a car), he decided a fitting tribute to his pet -- who was named in honor of famed aviator Orville Wright -- was to create the "Orvillecopter" from his taxidermied remains and a radio-controlled flying device complete with propellers.
"Swarms of tiny intelligent drones with cameras — what could go wrong?" This pin links to the news item, but for more information check out: http://www.ims.fraunhofer.de/en/news/detail/article/fliegende-3d-augen.html
From the editors of Technology Review comes TRSF, a new anthology of original, near-future science fiction. From the site: "We created TRSF because we’re in love with this kind of science fiction: plausible tales of how technology will change the world, and what it would be like to live in that world. Whether you’re a hard-core science fiction fan, or a casual reader, TRSF will take you to the future."
We Can Survive Killer Asteroids — But It Won’t Be Easy
Why will a killer asteroid be hurtling towards Earth around the time I can *finally* start thinking about retirement? From the site: "One killer asteroid [astronomers have] been monitoring is Apophis, which could hit Earth in 2036, likely slamming into the Pacific Ocean. The tsunami it creates will devastate all the coastlines of the Pacific Rim." Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium, thinks we might just escape total annihilation with some scientific know-how.
Want to Know provides "reliable, verifiable information on major cover-ups" while calling for humanity to work towards its betterment. Conspiracy theories are reported on at length, with a special emphasis on government clandestine operations.
Mankind Research Unlimited investigates PSYOPs (psychological operations) and psychological warfare around the world. Their motto pretty much says it: "Everything you ever wanted to know about parapsychology, but were afraid to ask."