Updated Mar. 23: The Flying Dutchman, Floris Kaayk (a.k.a. Jarno Smeets), admitted on Dutch television yesterday that the video showing him flying like a bird was, in his words, "online storytelling." In our words: a fake. Wired magazine suspected as much when they reported on the viral YouTube video (see the entry below) and then CGI experts came in behind them saying that indeed, pixels didn't add up. And then last night, Kaayk, who is a filmmaker and animator, admitted that last summer, he started documenting the fake flying machine. If you're still wondering what all the flap was about, keep reading and watch the video below. via Life's Little Mysteries
From Mar. 22: Time Magazine originally called him "a Dutchman with mad engineering skills" and Gizmodo compared him to Da Vinci when a video of 31-year-old Jarno Smeets donning homemade wings and flying started going viral. Now the "Birdman" is being called a hoax.
Smeets, on his website, describes a process of designing and building homemade wings over eight months. The site shows large, lightweight wings that look a little like windsurfing sails attached to an aluminum harness. Sketches and diagrams detail his apparent control mechanisms: gyroscopes and accelerometers from a Wii Nunchuck and a Wii Motion Plus, as well as acceleration sensors from an HTC smartphone.