‘Bird Man’ video-maker admits to hoax

By David Ferguson
Friday, March 23, 2012 10:30 EDT
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Filmmaker Floris Kaayk on Dutch TV
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The remarkable video captivated the world. In it, engineer Jarno Smeets of Phillips launched himself into the air and flew like a bird with a pair of home-made mechanical wings.

Sadly, it has now come to light that the video was a hoax. Wired magazine reports that engineer Jarno Smeets is actually filmmaker and animator Floris Kaayk, who admitted to the hoax on Dutch TV show  “De Wereld Draait Door” (“The World is Turning”).

Kaayk said that the original “Human Bird Wings” video was actually the culmination of an 8-month project about how stories and information spread by way of the Internet.  He claims that he chose the project because “it’s everybody’s dream to fly.”

Watch the video, embedded via YouTube, below.  Click ‘CC’ for English subtitles.

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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