Feeds

Dutch birdman admits flight was filmic fantasy

Human-powered flap'n'fly too good to be true, sadly

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The "Flying Dutchman" who enthralled world+dog earlier this week with a video of him flying through the wild blue yonder by flapping homemade wings has admitted that the entire airborne affair was but a hoax.

And so was the name of the supposedly intrepid aviator: "Jarno Smeets" is in actuality a fictional character created by filmmaker and animator Floris Kaayk, who has now admitted on the Dutch TV show De wereld draait door that the flight was – to put it kindly – a filmic fantasy.

His eight-month project, which he titled Human Birdwings, was an "online adventure and invention story," Kaayk explains on his blog. "The intention of this project was to share a personal, yet universal dream about flying like a bird," he writes.

The culmination of Human Birdwings, a video of his bogus birdman soaring over a Dutch park, was effective enough to fool many a viewer, including The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, the International Business Times, and yes, even one of The Reg's own.

We must note, however, that not all of us Reggies succumbed to the seductive dream of human-powered flight. As we noted in an update to our original story of Jarno Smeets, modern-day Hezârfen Ahmed Çelebi or Abbas Ibn Firnas, "We strongly suspect that this has no more validity than certain other exotic personal-flight inventions which have been known to entrap journalists in the past."

To be frank, your time-hardened Reg reporter can't summon even a soupçon of righteous indignation over Kaayk's hoax. Although Human Birdwings is, indeed, yet another proof of the old adage that "if it looks too good to be true, it probably is," it was a marvelous hoax, and one that surely entertained the vast majority of the nearly five million people who have viewed the video on YouTube.

Yes, Kaayk fooled the world – or at least a good chunk of it – and yes, he initially refused to admit that the flight was merely a flight of fancy, but we stand behind our statement in The Reg's article on Human Birdwings: "it still looks like a marvellous way to fly." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.