A Dutch man named Jarno Smeets wants us all to believe he has the ability to fly, and he has the viral video to prove it. The video begins with Smeets running and flapping his arms, and then he takes off like a bird and soars in the sky. The video has been making the rounds all over the Web and morning shows in the past couple of days.
Some skeptics are suspicious that it may be a hoax. The video is part of a project by Smeets, a mechanical engineer, in which he chronicles his journey through 14 videos and his very detailed blog. The lightweight nylon wings are modeled after the albatross, a bird Smeets studied before he started construction. The wings are connected to a mechanized motor powered by an Android smartphone and two Nintendo Wii controllers.
Smeets did not start flying on his first attempt. In fact, he barely is able to get off the ground. The videos have generated mixed reactions from people all over the Web.
Some people, like "MythBusters" star Jamie Hyneman, think it is real. "I don't see evidence that it was fake," he said. "It seems reasonable to accomplish, and is something that I have wanted to try for a long time."
The people who think Smeets's videos are an elaborate hoax do not believe what he's doing in the videos is actually possible because of physics. They say the wings will not produce the necessary force and lift to raise a 160-pound man off the ground, much less allow him to fly. Others cite CGI inconsistencies such as fake shadows and jilted camera movements. There's one alleged example in one of the videos where there is no dot on one of the wings. But after the camera moves away and returns--suddenly, there's a dot.
Our next story is about someone who does fly, and she just broke a world record.
Mary Allen Hardison is a great-great-grandmother, and she decided to celebrate her 101st birthday by paragliding. By doing so, Hardison became the Guinness Book of World Records oldest female to paraglide in tandem. The Utah native told her local TV station that she did not want to be outdone by her 75-year-old son who had recently started the same hobby. Hardison's advice to seniors is to stay active and to keep trying new things as long as they are physically able. As for those who might want to challenge her record, Hardison said, "I'm happy for people to attempt to break my record. I promise the experience will be worth it."