Those CGI experts were right: The brief Bird Man phenomenon—in which we were enchanted by a guy flying with homemade wings—was a hoax. In fact, "Jarno Smeets" is actually named Floris Kaayk, and he says he's really a Dutch CGI artist, Gizmodo reports. He acknowledged as much on a Dutch TV show. He says his video is in service of a documentary project about online media. The hoax worked because "it's everybody's dream to fly," Kaayk said, according to Wired.
Turns out Kaayk is a veteran hoaxer—he also made a documentary about a fake disease in 2006. "As an artist he has succeeded, but he has fooled most of us. We all want to fly, don’t we?” says a scientist who talked to Kaayk about flight. "Although this kind of flight is possible in principle, he must have known early on that it would be impossible for him and that he had to fake it. It’s pretty fantastic that he made us believe that we were on to something."