So Who Is the 'Bird Man'?

Apparent scamster has fake resume
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Mar 22, 2012 1:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – Oh-oh. The credentials of the supposedly flying "Bird Man" of Holland have flown the coop. "Jarno Smeets," who posted a wildly popular YouTube video apparently showing him flapping giant wings to take flight, posted credentials on Facebook and LinkedIn that don't check out. Film experts at Industrial Light and Magic—and elsewhere—have declared the video to be a not-so-very-clever fake, notes Gizmodo. Wired, though skeptical, is withholding ultimate judgment, with its physicist Rhett Allen saying there is "nothing that indicates it must be a fake." But Wired staffers haven't been able to confirm either the work or education credentials Smeets lists, including study at Coventry University in England and work at Pailton Engineering.

“We checked with all of our divisions globally and nobody knows him. He’s never worked for us in any of our locations,” a Pailton spokesman told Wired. “Nobody knows him.” So who is the mystery Bird Man? He refused to be interviewed by Wired. “I am extremely overwhelmed by the amount of emails, tweets, messages I am getting,” Smeets wrote. The flap continues. (Read more Jarno Smeets stories.)

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