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Dutch 'bird man' admits his flying video is fake

London, Fri, 23 Mar 2012 ANI

London, March 23 (ANI): The Dutch 'bird man' who posted a video showing a successful 'test flight' of a wing suit contraption has confessed that he is actually a 'filmmaker and animator,' not an engineer as claimed, and the amazing feat was a hoax.

The controversial video shows Jarno Smeets running through a park in the Hague flapping enormous, kite-like wings - and suddenly 'lifts off', flying 300 feet through the air, which lasted about a minute.

Smeets claims to be the first human being to fly like a bird, without a jet or rotors - instead, he says he uses wings which 'amplify' his muscles, with the motion sensors from Nintendo's Wii transferring motions into motors in the wings.

The engineer claimed that wireless engines in the wings work as 'amplifiers' for Smeets's own arms, allowing him to flap wings that would otherwise be far too large for a single human.

The video provoked controversy online, with many viewers claiming that it must be faked.

The mystery of 'Jarno Smeets' began when the institutions he claimed to belong revealed they had never heard of the 'engineer'.

His LinkedIn biography links to Pailton Engineering Limited, a workplace that has no record of him - and there is also no record of Smeets at Coventry University, which also appears on his CV.

Now Smeets has confessed that he is actually a 'filmmaker and animator' named Floris Kaayk, and has described the faked footage as 'online storytelling'.

"I am now eight months working on an experiment about online media,' having begun blogging about the flying project last year," the Daily Mail quoted Kaayk as telling in a Dutch television show.

But he shot down rumours that the footage, which shows him soaring into the air, was intended to be publicity for a company. (ANI)


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