The U.S. Military is asking America’s neighbors if, by any chance, they’ve seen the Marine Corps’ lost F-35B Lightning II aircraft.
The missing jet, which is worth over $78 million, was recently “involved in a mishap,” according to Joint Base Charleston.
A “mishap,” according to the Air Force is “an unplanned event or series of events that results in damage to DoD property; occupational illness to DoD personnel; injury to on or off-duty DoD military personnel; injury to on-duty DoD civilian personnel; or damage to public or private property, or injury or illness to non-DoD personnel, caused by DoD activities.”
The Marine Corps mishap is classified as being under the category of a Class A mishap, considering that the aircraft is undoubtedly demolished, and will end up costing the military branch over $2 million.
The aircraft was lost during a flight that went wrong. The pilot thankfully managed to eject himself from the plane and is currently in stable condition, per The Blaze. The Marine Corps still has no clue as to where its aircraft from the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 ended up.
“Based on the jet’s last known position and in coordination with the FAA, we are focusing our attention north of JB Charleston, around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion,” Joint Base Charleston indicated on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Based on the jet’s last-known position and in coordination with the FAA, we are focusing our attention north of JB Charleston, around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion.
— Joint Base Charleston (@TeamCharleston) September 17, 2023
The Marine Corps has narrowed its search to Lake Moultrie, which encompasses 60,000 acres and has a depth of nearly 76 feet.
A spokesman for Joint Base Charleston, Jeremy Huggins, told the Washington Post that the missing aircraft’s transponder was malfunctioning “for some reason that we haven’t yet determined.”
“The aircraft is stealth, so it has different coatings and different designs that make it more difficult than a normal aircraft to detect,” Huggins added.
This isn’t the first time the Marine Corps has simply lost its plane. In December 2022, an F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter crashed somewhere in Texas. The pilot of the aircraft was thankfully able to sustain all injuries and has managed to make a full recovery.
On X, the military was heavily mocked for losing an aircraft and then asked if anyone had seen where it went.
Responding to Joint Base Charleston’s request to find the missing plane, one X user said, “Finders Keepers.”
Another user wrote, “Gray with white spots, approx. 24,000 pounds, answers to the name ‘Stealthy.’”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said, “What are the F-35’s pronouns?”
On Facebook Marketplace, an account posted an advertisement for a “Gently used F-35 Fighter.”