Sunshine Recorder

Link: Vanishing

In the stunning and remote wilderness along northern British Columbia’s Highway 16, at least 18 women—by some estimates, many more—have gone missing over the past four decades. After years of investigation, authorities still don’t know if it’s the work of a serial killer or multiple offenders. Bob Friel drives into the darkness for answers.

For generation, the young people of Vanderhoof, British Columbia, have raced through the night down Blackwater Road, their four-wheel drives kicking up gravel as they spin onto a rutted track scraped through the evergreen woods surrounding Hogsback Lake. By day, this small park is a peaceful spot for a picnic, a paddle, or setting off to hike a stretch of nearby Telegraph Trail. After dark, Hogsback’s shoreline offers a great place to throw a party.

On Friday, May 27, 2011, Madison Scott, 20, threaded her hand-me-down 1991 F150 between fir trees and parked in a grassy clearing at the edge of the lake. With long ginger hair, green eyes, a big smile, and a spray of freckles across her pierced nose, Maddy radiated life. A 2009 graduate of Vanderhoof’s Nechako Valley Secondary School, she stood a sturdy five foot four and 170 pounds, and had played ice hockey and rugby.

Growing up in Vanderhoof, a small (pop. 4,800) mill town punched square on the sawdust belt of this rugged Canadian province, Maddy was a real northern B.C. girl. She’d dress up for a dance but was also comfortable atop a horse, dirt bike, or snowmobile. She could handle a socket wrench and had recently begun an apprenticeship as a mechanic in her father’s shop. 

Maddy’s softer side showed a passion for photography. She focused her camera on birds, flowers, friends, and especially her younger sister. During one long exposure, an uncharacteristically serious-faced Maddy posed on a bleak snow-covered field. She set off the flash, then walked out of the frame, leaving a haunting image of her body dissolving into the night. In the winter of 2010, one of her cousins commented on the photo on Facebook, saying, “I don’t like ghost stuff.” Maddy responded, “Haha, you’re a baby!!”

The day Maddy drove to Hogsback Lake, a windy front had blown itself out by early morning, but it remained unseasonably cool and overcast, never breaking 50 degrees. The forecast called for it to drop into the low forties that night. Still, Maddy planned on camping at the lake with one of her girlfriends after the party. She climbed down from her truck and staked out her two-tone blue nylon tent. Then, dressed in a black T-shirt and capri jeans, she joined the fun.

The clearing filled with about 50 people, all from the Vanderhoof area, a mix of 18-to-25-year-olds with a few oldsters mingled in. No one who attended wants to publicly say what went on, partywise. In general, folks say it was what happens whenever young people gather in the woods at night—the same thing their parents had done when they, too, hung out at Hogsback Lake decades before. 

The party rolled deep into the morning. Maddy’s girlfriend reportedly went home early after hurting her knee, but Maddy decided to stay and camp alone. The latest anyone admits to seeing her was around 3 a.m.


The Pacific Northwest’s Underwater Wilderness

The rich and murky undersea world off the Pacific Northwest inspires a photographer to endure freezing waters to shoot dazzling creatures.
Dressed in a dry suit, boots, thick gloves, and a 50-pound lead vest to keep him from bobbing to the surface like a cork, David Hall rolled into 45-degree waters off the coast of British Columbia in 1995, embarking on a project to photograph the marine life that thrives in this frigid ecosystem. Over the next 15 years he would take the plunge hundreds of times, each dive an opportunity to capture images of another species.
“No one had tried to photograph them artfully before, and that was my goal,” says Hall, an award-winning underwater photographer whose images comprise Beneath Cold Seas: The Underwater Wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.
Drawn to the challenge of taking pictures in cold water, which is murkier and darker than warm water because of its high concentration of green algae, Hall wanted to be one of the first to catalogue the numerous fish, mammals, and plants living in a vast expanse of ocean ranging from Northern California to Alaska.
“He combines the inquiring and exacting eye of a scientist with the soul and vision of an artist to produce uniquely beautiful underwater images that educate as much as they inspire,” Christopher Newbert, a renowned underwater photographer, writes in the book’s foreword.
Tentacled moon jellyfish, transparent candy stripe shrimp, and a Pacific octopus, the largest in the world, with a 16-foot arm span, appear in this book, illuminating a world that few people will ever see for themselves. Hall also witnessed the largest run of sockeye salmon—a dwindling species that’s emblematic of the Pacific Northwest—in a century, possibly due to an injection of nutrients into the ocean from a volcanic eruption. Although sockeyes spend most of their lives in the ocean, they swim up freshwater streams to lay their eggs. The different environment triggers a shift in their metabolism, and causes their skin to change from silver to vibrant red and green. Standing waist-deep in a stream, Hall took shot after shot of the spawning fish while they swam around his legs.
Some of hall’s shots include both land and water, giving his subjects and their environment context. “It is beautiful up there, both above water and below,” he says. His subjects are thus surrounded by evergreens, often silhouetted in the distance. “That’s one of the things that I wanted to do: Give people a sense of how the land and sea are connected,” he says.
Hall’s work also makes a case for conservation. About 99 percent of underwater photography is taken in warm waters, he estimates, where colorful corals and fish flourish, so viewers aren’t as connected to their colder counterparts.
“People protect what they know and value, and wildlife photography has a very important role in that,” says Hall. “I think that people don’t realize the value of what’s out there in cold water and how these ecosystems are just as fragile as any.”
Slideshow

The Pacific Northwest’s Underwater Wilderness

The rich and murky undersea world off the Pacific Northwest inspires a photographer to endure freezing waters to shoot dazzling creatures.

Dressed in a dry suit, boots, thick gloves, and a 50-pound lead vest to keep him from bobbing to the surface like a cork, David Hall rolled into 45-degree waters off the coast of British Columbia in 1995, embarking on a project to photograph the marine life that thrives in this frigid ecosystem. Over the next 15 years he would take the plunge hundreds of times, each dive an opportunity to capture images of another species.

“No one had tried to photograph them artfully before, and that was my goal,” says Hall, an award-winning underwater photographer whose images comprise Beneath Cold Seas: The Underwater Wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.

Drawn to the challenge of taking pictures in cold water, which is murkier and darker than warm water because of its high concentration of green algae, Hall wanted to be one of the first to catalogue the numerous fish, mammals, and plants living in a vast expanse of ocean ranging from Northern California to Alaska.

“He combines the inquiring and exacting eye of a scientist with the soul and vision of an artist to produce uniquely beautiful underwater images that educate as much as they inspire,” Christopher Newbert, a renowned underwater photographer, writes in the book’s foreword.

Tentacled moon jellyfish, transparent candy stripe shrimp, and a Pacific octopus, the largest in the world, with a 16-foot arm span, appear in this book, illuminating a world that few people will ever see for themselves. Hall also witnessed the largest run of sockeye salmon—a dwindling species that’s emblematic of the Pacific Northwest—in a century, possibly due to an injection of nutrients into the ocean from a volcanic eruption. Although sockeyes spend most of their lives in the ocean, they swim up freshwater streams to lay their eggs. The different environment triggers a shift in their metabolism, and causes their skin to change from silver to vibrant red and green. Standing waist-deep in a stream, Hall took shot after shot of the spawning fish while they swam around his legs.

Some of hall’s shots include both land and water, giving his subjects and their environment context. “It is beautiful up there, both above water and below,” he says. His subjects are thus surrounded by evergreens, often silhouetted in the distance. “That’s one of the things that I wanted to do: Give people a sense of how the land and sea are connected,” he says.

Hall’s work also makes a case for conservation. About 99 percent of underwater photography is taken in warm waters, he estimates, where colorful corals and fish flourish, so viewers aren’t as connected to their colder counterparts.

“People protect what they know and value, and wildlife photography has a very important role in that,” says Hall. “I think that people don’t realize the value of what’s out there in cold water and how these ecosystems are just as fragile as any.”

Slideshow

Wolf Parade - Dear Sons And Daughters Of Hungry Ghosts

Wolf Parade is an indie rock band from Victoria, British Columbia, based in Montreal, QC, and currently on indefinite hiatus. Wolf Parade was formed when Spencer Krug (also Sunset Rubdown, Frog Eyes, Moonface and Swan Lake) was offered a gig supporting Arcade Fire. He called Dan Boeckner (formerly of notable B.C. band Atlas Strategic, now also part of Handsome Furs) and they wrote songs with a drum machine before calling Arlen Thompson to play drums. Hadji Bakara joined in 2004. Dante DeCaro (formerly of Hot Hot Heat and currently of Johnny and the Moon) joined in Summer 2005 as second guitarist and percussionist. Though expected to perform again, the band announced their indefinite hiatus on November 27, 2010.

Live The Language: Vancouver

As an educational corporation willing to invest in beautiful things to promote their language courses around the world, EF (Education First) is a typographer’s dream client. Albin Holmqvist was the lucky designer to take on their latest campaign, letting type do the talking in four short films produced by Swedish firm Camp David. The videos romanticize different cities in a genuinely sweet way, showcasing their respective languages with simple, pitch-perfect typographic overlays.

Photoessay: A ‘Safe’ Drug Injection Site in Vancouver

Vancouver has a program called Insite, which addresses what is one of the largest AIDS epidemics in North America by providing clean needles and a safe place for people to use intravenous drugs. There is a room with 12 booths. Nurses help you find a vein and use needles properly and hygienically. They help you filter your drugs so you don’t overdose. It’s an intensely liberal program. They say they’re giving health care to the homeless people who normally would never get it, or people on the margins who wouldn’t have access to it. That’s the thing about Canada: health care is a universal right for everyone. I had to set the context in which there was a need for such a radical program. And in order to set the context, I needed to come in contact with drug addicts and people who were very down and out with life — who were addicted, who had problems like AIDS, who were very marginalized people. As a photographer, I’m pretty uncomfortable with drug stories. I think drug stories are almost exploitative in a way. But a story about a safe injection site could add to the discussion of how to treat drug users. If people in the U.S. discuss it, if people in Europe or around the world discuss it — based on these photos — that could create change. So I felt my photos would help people ask important questions that could help this marginalized community. That’s why it was worth a story worth doing.

Story / Photos


Noieck River Valley, British Columbia

Noieck River Valley, British Columbia

(Source: finitor)