The article, headed “It’s wonderful – but cold”, described how Stockholm Skydiving Club had celebrated spring by jumping from a height of 4,000 metres in their birthday suits.
The paper quoted Johan Persson, a supposed member of the club, who described the naked jump over the Gärdet area of Stockholm as an annual tradition.
“The scrotum really flaps about when you’re freefalling,” he’d told the paper, adding, “I’ve become a dad recently so it can’t do any harm.”
But appealing though the story was, it turned out that Aftonbladet’s journalist had been taken in by a hoaxter.
Red-faced editorial director, Sigfrid Ennart, told Dagens Media that his journalist had been caught out.
“Our routine is to check all tip-offs by conducting interviews. This was a sly hoaxter who had many details about the people on the picture he attached,” Ennart said.
Jenny Rosén, a member of the real Stockholm Skydiving Club, said she was surprised that the paper had fallen for the trick.
“That picture has been traveling around the internet for years. I know it´s not taken in Sweden since we have a law that requires us to wear helmets when jumping.”
“I can´t believe that a big newspaper such as Aftonbladet didn’t check the facts, and I´m surprised they didn´t recognize the picture. If you search for nude skydiving on Google that same picture will appear on at least 50 different pages,” said Rosén.
Meanwhile, Rosén insists that the hoax article has not inspired freefallers to bare all.
“However naked jumps happen occasionally, mostly in the summertime when the weather is hot, but not very often and not by me.