Jarno Smeets, the man who posted on YouTube 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 Jarno Smeets.
And Floris Kaayk says he faked the whole thing.
Floris Kaayk created an elaborate back-story behind the supposed invention, claiming it was inspired by sketches of a “flying bicycle” his grandfather had designed, which his mother had found in the attic of his home.
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 organizations 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.
Floris Kaayk then confessed to fabricating the footage, which he says is an exercise in “online storytelling”.
And for anyone doubting the veracity of Floris Kaayk’s claims to be a film-maker and animator, several short films by him can be seen on YouTube, and his website describes him as specializing in “blending computer generated images with live action”.