Europe

Film-maker Kaayk admits hoax over "bird-man suit" video

  • 23 March 2012
  • From the section Europe

A man who posted a video of himself apparently conducting a successful test flight of a "wing-suit" he'd invented, has admitted it was a hoax.

In the widely viewed film the "inventor" - a Dutch man calling himself "Jarno Smeets" - appears to fly using a contraption powered and controlled by the flapping of his arms.

But an animator and film-maker called Floris Kaayk has now admitted that he is in fact Smeets.

And he says he faked the whole thing.

Mr Kaayk created an elaborate back-story behind the supposed invention, claiming it was inspired by sketches of a "flying bicyle" his grandfather had designed, which his mother had found in the attic of his home.

Jarno Smeets claimed he was inspired by his grandfather's plans for a flying bicycle

He claimed to have used Wii technology to co-ordinate the flapping motion of his arms to a huge pair of wings made from hang-glider fabric.

The video was a huge hit on YouTube, and quickly went viral, being picked up by media organisations around the world.

But viewers started to become suspicious when the engineering institutions he claimed to belong to revealed they had never heard of him.

Mr Kaayk then confessed to fabricating the footage, which he says is an exercise in "online storytelling".

And for anyone doubting the veracity of Mr Kaayk's claims to be a film-maker and animator, several short films by him can be seen onYouTube, and hiswebsitedescribes him as specialising in "blending computer generated images with live action".

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites