Jarno Smeets became an internet sensation this week when he posted a video on YouTube that showed him flying with a pair of homemade, motorized bird wings. Right off the bat skeptics came forward, slamming the video and calling the flight a hoax. At first Smeets wouldn't respond to requests for an interview, but it seems all of that has changed as he has now appeared on a Dutch TV show.
We initially caught wind of the story through Wired, who even followed up with an analysis by physicist Rhett Allain. They concluded that the video did provide enough evidence to prove it was a fake, but like many others, Wired staff apparently still had their suspicions.
Adding to the doubt were claims from various sources (see this Gizmodo article) that the flight we saw in the video was not possible for several reasons. Many pointed to the fact that the wings did not show any load during flight. Others pointed out that the wings placement in relation to Smeets' center of gravity was completely off and would not allow for flight. Even more, many viewers claimed there were questionable portions of the video that led them to believe CGI was used in its creation.
After a week of unanswered questions Jarno Smeets has finally come forward. So, who is this man? Well, apparently he's not Jarno Smeets at all. Turns out that name is completely fictitious and the Human BirdWings front man is actually Dutch filmmaker and animator Floris Kaayk. Yes folks, It was all an elaborate hoax, or in Kaayk's words “an experiment about online media.”
Here's the video again in case you still haven't seen it
Did you believe this man actually flew? Or you one of the many that questioned the video's authenticity from the very beginning? Hit the comments section below and let us know!