22 Mar 2012

As we initially speculated, the video clip of the birdwing and Jarno Smeets was a hoax.  We all wanted it to be true though.  Jarno didn't actually fly and his name is not Jarno Smeets its Floris Kaayk, a Dutch CGI artist/filmmaker who told a Dutch TV show that the "Human Bird Wing" project was all for a documentary he is making on Internet hoaxes.  The video ranked up 3 million views on YouTube in less than a week, but suspicions as to the authenticity of the flight began just as early as the view count.  Many internet commenters were convinced it was a hoax, possibly as a publicity stunt for Nintendo, since Wii controllers were used on the wings, while CGI experts considered the video very well done.

Wired magizine discovered that Jarno Smeets' LinkedIn profile was a fake.  Coventry University, had no record of anyone by that name.  The past companies he listed had no record of anyone by that name either.

With the aid of computers and technology, the line between reality and computer graphics is becoming more blurred.  This was a good hoax, it certainly won't be the last one.

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