The very first all Girl Rock band 

Originally named The Debutones, England’s The Liverbirds (aka The Liver Birds) moved from Liverpool to Hamburg, Germany in 1963 where they became a popular band on the Star-Club circuit. Although they never became big stars their contribution to rock and roll is historically significant in that they were the first serious all-girl rock band to play their own instruments and do it on the same turf as male rock n’ rollers.

“Girls with guitars? That’ll never work”. John Lennon.

Well, it did work for The Liverbirds who managed to record two albums, achieve a Top 10 hit in Germany with their single, “Diddley Daddy,” and last four years before splitting up in 1967.

Pamela Birch – guitar/vocals, Valerie Gell – guitar/vocals, Mary McGlory – bass guitar/vocals, Sylvia Saunders – drums.

Liver is pronounced like live concert, live TV etc.  Not like, “I hate it when Mom serves liver.”

The true origin of Sasquatch

By Lisa Kadane 21st July 2022

Stories of a hairy, forest-dwelling, bi-pedal primate have persisted for centuries in British Columbia. But perhaps more important than whether it exists, is what it symbolizes.

From a lookout above the Harrison River Valley in south-western British Columbia, dense forest stretches all the way to the snow-capped Coast Mountains on the Pacific shore. Thick with towering western red cedars, hemlock and Sitka spruce trees, the wilderness continues almost uninterrupted all the way north to Alaska.

Beyond the roads and hiking trails, the terrain soon becomes impassable, punctuated by steep mountains that plunge into glacier-carved lakes. This remote valley 130km east of Vancouver conjures an ancient land filled with mystery and possibility, and some believe it’s home to the world’s most famous cryptid – Sasquatch, Canada’s Bigfoot.

I’d arrived at the viewpoint in an all-terrain vehicle with Bhima Gauthier, who leads tours to spots in the region where sightings have been reported.

“I can’t say for sure that they are real,” he said. “I have a feeling that there has to be some truth behind it. And there’s a lot of stories, especially here we have a very rich mythology.”

There have been 37 notable Sasquatch sightings near the town of Harrison Hot Springs since 1900. Called Bigfoot in the United States, and yeti or metoh kangmi (“wild man of the snows”) in the Himalaya, Sasquatch is a tall, hairy, bi-pedal, primate-like creature of disputed existence. Regular sightings have kept the popular legend alive, but now it’s being told from an Indigenous perspective. The change is driven by public interest in the idea of a Sasquatch rooted in spirituality and symbolism, rather than sensationalism. The creature is considered sacred to West Coast First Nations, particularly the Sts’ailes (sta-hay-lis), who have lived in the Harrison River Valley for at least 10,000 years.

To sate a growing curiosity, Harrison Hot Springs opened a Sasquatch Museum inside its visitor centre in 2017, and worked with Sts’ailes member Boyd Peters, who provided input on the original Sts’ailes acquisitions, including a drum and replica wood mask of Sasquatch. Other displays explain the Sts’ailes belief in Sasquatch as a caretaker of the land and totem for their nation (a stylized image of Sasquatch is on the Sts’ailes flag). These exhibits are juxtaposed with casts of Sasquatch footprints, news clippings about sightings that date to 1884 and a logbook of reported local encounters. Since the museum opened, tourist numbers to the visitor centre have doubled to 20,000 annually, and the resort community received a CAD $1 million government grant to build an expanded museum-and-visitor-centre facility that will aim to balance the telling of Western sighting accounts with Sts’ailes stories and mythology. It’s slated to open in 2023.

Under the dim green glow of the coastal rainforest, it's easy to see how someone could mistake a mossy stump for a humanoid life form (Credit: Tourism Harrison/Graham Osborne)

Under the dim green glow of the coastal rainforest, it’s easy to see how someone could mistake a mossy stump for a humanoid life form (Credit: Tourism Harrison/Graham Osborne)

Long before TV shows such as Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot sensationalised the pursuit of the creature, the Sts’ailes passed down songs and stories about sasq’ets, a supernatural slollicum, or shapeshifter, that protects the land and people. In fact, Sasquatch is the anglicised version of sasq’ets (sas-kets), which means “hairy man” in Halq’emeylem, the Sts’ailes upriver dialect.

“The word comes from a mountain that’s called Sasq’ets Tel, the place where the Sasquatch gather,” said Kelsey Charlie, a Sts’ailes band councillor (an elected governance position). “Everybody paid reverence and honour to the emblem of our nation, which is the Sasquatch.”

Long before TV shows sensationalised the pursuit of the creature, the Sts’ailes passed down songs and stories about sasq’ets

This intersection of Sasquatch as symbolic totem, and Sasquatch as living primate, has taken the story beyond mere speculation in Harrison Hot Springs. The town has become a magnet for those seeking answers, like the 26 percent of Canadians that believe cryptids such as Sasquatch are “definitely” or “probably” real, according to an Angus Reid Institute public opinion poll from 2016.

“People literally come here on a pilgrimage, and more than you might think,” said Robert Reyerse, executive director of Tourism Harrison.

In addition to visiting the Sasquatch Museum, visitors can take a Sasquatch tour with Gauthier’s company, Harrison Lake Nature Adventures, or walk the Sasquatch Trail and take selfies next to Sasquatch statues. Every June, visitors can attend Sasquatch Days, which have been held since 1938. At the event, West Coast First Nations gather for canoe races, salmon barbeque and Sts’ailes Sasquatch dances.

A historical photo shows Sts'ailes community members dressed in sasq'ets costumes for the original 1938 Sasquatch Days festival (Credit: courtesy Kelsey Charlie)

A historical photo shows Sts’ailes community members dressed in sasq’ets costumes for the original 1938 Sasquatch Days festival (Credit: courtesy Kelsey Charlie)

“Your first thought is, these [visitors] are going to be crazy, but they’re not,” said Reyerse. “They’re like ordinary people and some of their stories are pretty compelling.”

The town also draws researchers such as Thomas Steenburg, who has written four books on the subject, including In Search of Giants: Bigfoot Sasquatch Encounters, and has appeared as a guest speaker on the subject at events such as Alberta Culture Days. He insists he remains a healthy sceptic.

“I accept the possibility that the Sasquatch may turn out to be nothing more than mythology and folklore, and that alone makes it worth looking into,” said Steenburg, who lives in the nearby city of Mission.

If Sasquatch is real, Steenburg believes it’s an unclassified primate, possibly gigantopithecus blacki, an extinct ape from southern China that could have crossed the Bering Land Bridge and remained concealed in North America’s vast boreal forest. But the fact that no one has produced credible documentation of Sasquatch bothers him. Ultimately, the burden of proof lies in DNA, he said.

“Science needs what science has always demanded: a body or piece of body,” said Steenburg, standing next to a display case of Sasquatch footprint casts inside the Sasquatch Museum.

If Sasquatch is real, researcher Thomas Steenburg believes it's an unclassified primate, possibly gigantopithecus blacki  (Credit: Lisa Kadane)

If Sasquatch is real, researcher Thomas Steenburg believes it’s an unclassified primate, possibly gigantopithecus blacki (Credit: Lisa Kadane)

My curiosity piqued, I went hiking in nearby Sasquatch Provincial Park. Under the dim green glow of the coastal rainforest, it’s easy to see how someone could mistake a mossy stump for a humanoid life form. It’s a psychological effect called pareidolia – seeing an object where there is none, such as Jesus on a piece of toast. This phenomenon could explain the sightings, like the dark figure spotted close to a campground outhouse in 2010, or a purported Sasquatch that caused a group to flee another campground in 1994.

It’s comforting to pass these off as someone’s overactive imagination, but these woods give Bonnie Kent pause. A former volunteer with BC Search and Rescue, she helped extract lost hikers from the bush for 15 years.

Kent, now manager of the Sasquatch Museum, initially rolled her eyes about the creature. But after listening to stories from travellers who have come from as far away as New Zealand, she became open-minded about the possibility. “My first response was that people around here used to smoke too much weed and see big hairy guys!” she said with a laugh, before turning serious. “Out in the bush there are a number of times when your hair stands up; there are areas that you just feel you’re not supposed to be there.”

As Charlie explained, Sts’ailes tradition holds that the creature can change from its physical form to a rock, tree or even another animal. “My grandpa used to say, ‘The slollicum is a shapeshifter and can walk in the two realms, the spiritual and the physical. That’s why you’ll never catch him,'” he said.

But he’s not surprised people are still trying. “I think [Sasquatch] resonates because all cultures in the world had some thing, like a supernatural being, and through time and evolution and humanness, we’ve lost a lot of these things,” said Charlie. Perhaps science has made us all sceptics.

Charlie told me about how he saw two Sasquatch drinking water from Harrison Lake in 2002, a dusk sighting that made his hair stand up on end. At the time, he was bashful to tell anyone what he’d seen, fearing derision.

"The word comes from a mountain that's called Sasq'ets Tel, the place where the Sasquatch gather," said Kelsey Charlie, a Sts'ailes band councillor (Credit: Lisa Kadane)

“The word comes from a mountain that’s called Sasq’ets Tel, the place where the Sasquatch gather,” said Kelsey Charlie, a Sts’ailes band councillor (Credit: Lisa Kadane)

“You don’t want to have people looking at you in a certain way,” Charlie explained. “Then again, I thought, ‘Xwem xwem sq’welewel,’ which in our language means, ‘you’re proud of who you are, where you come from and what you belong to.” So, he shared his story.

Ultimately, seeing Sasquatch is considered a blessing and a sign of good luck, Charlie’s grandfather used to say. “If you’re able to see him, hear him or see his footprints, there’s some type of good fortune that’s going to come your way because he’s making sure that you know that he’s there and that you still have to live by the rules,” said Charlie, referring to the agreement between humans and sasq’ets to live in harmony with nature. “They live off the land, they live on the land, they are the land.”

It’s a sentiment shared by Steenburg, and perhaps a place where Sts’ailes mythology and Western fascination come together. “Sasquatch, if it exists, is a symbol that there’s still wilderness out there,” he said. “We haven’t tamed everything.” 

Parachuting Beavers

At last, the world can witness a troop of parachuting beavers landing in backcountry Idaho: after a fish and game historian discovered delicate, mislabeled film of the phenomenon and the Idaho Historical Society released it on YouTube in October, 2015.

The footage remarkably shows professional trappers packing the beavers into ventilated boxes and dropping them from airplanes for relocation, as a solution to beaver overpopulation in some areas. The idea seems absurd (as well as potentially lethal, though no beavers appear harmed in the film) but the long-lost footage — from around 1950, as Boise State Public Radio reports — comes with plenty of records to prove that the burgeoning beaver population really was a problem in mid-century Idaho.

However, TIME accounts of contemporary Idaho beaver problems show that concern about the beaver population wasn’t the only reason the government would have wanted to relocate the rodents. In fact, there were also significant economic benefits to the relocation program.

Lumpy distribution of beavers was causing a problem in the state: in overpopulated areas, they were damaging the rural land with their damming tendencies. In underpopulated areas, water needs weren’t being met. The goal was to allow the entire beaver population to flourish productively, raising its population to the estimated 200,000 that could be supported by the land. TIME reported as early as 1939 that the Interior Department had been trapping beavers and releasing them in eroded areas, so that they would build dams and promote a more even distribution of moisture:

The value of the North American beaver (Castor canadensis) lies as much in his teeth and his temperament as in his fur…By the end of last season, some 500 beavers were busily damming streams under Government supervision, by the end of this year more than 1,000 may be at work.

With hundreds of arid Idaho acres already reclaimed by silt-catching beaver dams, Department of Interior experts look forward to using more beavers in Oregon and California. Cost of trapping and transplanting a beaver: $8. Estimated value of one beaver’s work: $300.

In 1941, Idaho beavers made national news in the pages of TIME once more when five specimens crucially stabilized a water supply in Salmon, Idaho, “saving the city the cost of a dam.” Beaver trappers moved the beavers in a more conventional manner in that case, but it’s clear that—by land or by air—the beavers could help Idaho just as much as Idaho could help the beavers.

The cost of building a dam wasn’t the only money involved in the beaver-moving project. Popular Mechanics Magazine ran a 1949 feature on the parachuting Idaho beavers, which also mentions that the trappers working with the effort were able to keep some of the animals for themselves, to sell their fur coats. At a time when the beaver population was estimated at 90,000 in Idaho, beaver trappers were allowed to only skin a few for their own profit, and then took care of the rest of the beaver population in designated areas.

Here’s more on the parachuting rodents:

In past years the state commission used trucks and pack animals for transplanting the beavers but on long trips the animals often perished because they were kept away from water for too long. Now, a journey of any distance is performed by airplane. Its cheaper and more reliable.

Dropping the beavers by parachute is a new experiment and more than 3 of the animals have been dropped successfully to date. It’s a tricky operation and it takes a skilled mountain pilot to pick out the stream that has been selected for the drop and to get down to within a couple hundred feet of the ground, the altitude at which the drops are made. The wind must be gauged just right so that the parachute and its burden won’t drift into trees. Usually, the chute lands within a hundred feet or so of the stream. A male and female are planted close together on the same stream so that a new colony may be started.

The parachuting strategy has since faded out of practice.

Steve Nadeau, Fish and Game’s Idaho fur bearer manager told the AP, “We haven’t done airplane drops for 50-plus years, but it apparently worked pretty well back then to re-establish them in remote places.”

In pictures: Hot weather sweeps across UK

Photographs from the day when high temperatures are forecast across the UK, with London set to be one of the hottest places in the world.

The sun rises in Mevagissey Harbour in Cornwall
The Sun rises in Mevagissey Harbour, in Cornwall, on the day UK temperatures could hit 41C.
Fishermen in the early morning light
Nearby, fishermen are out to land an early catch.
People preparing to enter the water in Penzance, Cornwall
In Penzance, Cornwall, swimmers took to the water just after sunrise.
A home in Berkshire with it's front window covered
A homeowner covers the front windows to try to keep out the sunshine.
Cracked footpath
A country path in Dunsden, Oxfordshire, is dry and cracked because of the lack of rain in the recent hot spell.
Bolivian squirrel monkey
A newborn Bolivian squirrel monkey keeps cool at Chessington Zoo, in Surrey.
Horticulture student Muhammed Ismail Moosa waters the plants in the Palm House at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew
At the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in south-west London, horticulture student Muhammed Ismail Moosa waters the plants in the Palm House.
Paddle boarders in Bristol
Paddleboarders make the most of the cooler morning, in Bristol.
A police horse is given water from a bucket
Police horse Zorro drinks water from a bucket on Whitehall, in central London.
Mother and daughter beside a pond
Joanne Dunwell and her eight-month-old daughter stay cool in the ponds in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh.
A member of the Queen's Guard receives water to drink
A soldier of the Queen’s Guard is given drinking water outside Buckingham Palace, in central London.
Woman's feet in a river
A woman keeps cool by dipping her feet in the River Thames near Chertsey, in Surrey.
Women on a punt on the River Cam
Visitors to Cambridge take to the River Cam.
Mother and daughter outside their front door
Jasmine Bowers with her daughter, who is eating a lollipop outside their home in north Belfast.
Assistant horticulturist Katie Martyr at a weather station
Assistant horticulturist Katie Martyr checks the readings for the previous 24 hours on Monday morning at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, which previously recorded the UK’s highest temperature of 38.7C (101F ) in July 2019.
Beekeepers at work
Elsewhere at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, beekeepers check on the beehives. They add extra water pots and place cardboard on top of the hives to help mitigate the impact of extreme heat.
People swim in the tidal pool during hot weather at Perranporth Beach in Cornwall
People swim in the tidal pool at Perranporth Beach in Cornwall.
A person standing under a water sprinkler outside Queen Elizabeth II Centre in central London
A woman keeps cool beside a water sprinkler outside Queen Elizabeth II Centre in central London.
People in a paddling pool in a park
People sit in a children’s paddling pool which was filled by a council parks vehicle in central London.
People walk in the sun in Greenwich Park
A man walks in the sun in Greenwich Park on what is already the hottest day of the year across the UK.