UPDATE: On Monday, the United States Marines issued a two-day standdown order for all aviation units as the search for the missing plane continued. Later that same day, debris from the F-35 was discovered in a field in Williamsburg County, South Carolina, concluding the search. The investigation into the crash is ongoing as the recovery effort continues.

The US Military is asking the public for help finding a missing military aircraft following a “mishap” on Sunday. The missing plane, identified as a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, disappeared in midair after the pilot safely ejected somewhere over South Carolina, according to a statement from Joint Base Charleston and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

Joint Base Charlton, a military installation in North Charleston, South Carolina, that houses US Navy and US Air Force operations, announced the F-35’s disappearance in an X post on Sunday. “We’re working with [Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort] to locate an F-35 that was involved in a mishap this afternoon. The pilot ejected safely,” the post read, providing a telephone number for anyone who might be aware of the jet’s current location.

A subsequent post stated that, based on the F-35’s last known location, the search is focusing on the area around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, north of the base.

The F-35, which costs roughly $90 million to manufacture, is a state-of-the-art stealth fighter equipped with a variety of technologies that make it resistant to radar detection. Although few details have been provided about the circumstances leading to the jet’s disappearance, initial reports suggest that it had been flying alongside a second F-35, but an unspecified malfunction caused the pilot to eject.

While the pilot was safely recovered and was transported to a nearby hospital, it is believed that the plane’s autopilot may have been active at the time, keeping it airborne even without an occupant. In this “zombie state,” the jet could remain in the air until it runs out of fuel.

(RELATED VIDEO: The Military Industrial Complex Problem Facing America)

According to statements made to the Washington Post, JB Charleston has not yet been able to locate the aircraft’s transponder, leaving its whereabouts unknown.

As the search for the F-35 continues, social media buzz about the ridiculousness of the entire situation has exploded.

“How in the hell do you lose an F-35?” asked South Carolina Congresswoman Nancy Mace. “…we’re asking the public to what, find a jet and turn it in?”

Others turned criticism towards the Biden administration. “Thank goodness the pilot ejected safely,” the House Judiciary GOP wrote. “But do we really need ‘Find My F-35’ to locate an $80 million dollar jet?”

Additional accounts merely seized upon the meme-worthiness of the situation, with amusing results.

In the unlikely event that a private citizen manages to locate the F-35 before the US Military, JB Charleston’s Base Defense Operations Center may be reached at 843-963-3600.

Authorities are still actively investigating the events surrounding the plane’s disappearance. Stay tuned for updates.

Add comment

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.