Man Fakes His Own Death and Then Shows Up to His Funeral in a Helicopter


More than one person has fantasized about showing up at his or her own funeral — not as the occupant of a casket or urn but as a fly on the wall, so to speak, eager to hear and see what people say and do at the event.

David Baerten of Liege, Belgium, did just that last weekend in a stunt he shared on his TikTok account.

Baerten, 45, known on the social media platform as “Ragnar le Fou” (which can be translated “Ragnar the fool” or “madman,” according to Google),  hoped to give his family some food for thought with the stunt, The Times of London reported Tuesday.

“What I see in my family often hurts me,” he said. “I never get invited to anything. Nobody sees me. We all grew apart.

“That’s why I wanted to give them a life lesson, and show them that you shouldn’t wait until someone is dead to meet up with them.”

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The Belgian “TikTokeur,” or TikTok content producer, hired a helicopter to help him make a grand entrance at the event, startling the friends and family members who were waiting for the funeral to begin, according to The Times.

@el.tiktokeur2 Tu nous as eu on t aime mon ami on est content que tu es parmis nous ❤️❤️#pourtoii #fyp #fypシ @Ragnar_le_fou ♬ son original – Thomas faut

Some were surprised, but Baerten’s wife and kids were in on the secret.

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One of his daughters announced the news on social media with a message about his “passing.”

“Rest in peace Daddy. I will never stop thinking about you,” she wrote. “Why is life so unfair? Why you? You were going to be a grandfather, and you still had your whole life ahead of you. I love you! We love you! We will never forget you.”

Baerten told a French talk show he thought up the idea because he felt “unappreciated” by some family members, the U.K.’s Independent reported.

Family, friends and TikTok users had varying reactions to finding out that the reports of his death had been greatly exaggerated.

“The prank did not sit well with viewers and many people [criticized] Baerten for being ‘cruel’ to his family,” the Independent reported.

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“That’s just wrong,” one TikTok user complained.

“The ego on this guy must be tremendous,” another remarked.

“Now we know why people didn’t like him,” yet another said.

Baerten insisted that the end result of the stunt was positive, The Times reported. Some of his relatives responded to his rather heavy hint and contacted him.

“That proves who really cares about me,” he said “Those who didn’t come [to the funeral] did contact me to meet up. So in a way I did win.”

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Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.
Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.