US Military Scrambling to Locate Missing 'Advanced' F-35 Fighter Jet After 'Mishap'


Lost: Flying object, about 51 feet long and 35 feet wide at the wings. Likely to have really cool military paint job.

If found, return to Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.

Reward? Are you kidding? This is government work.

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OK, so that’s not exactly the text of the announcement put out by the base after a Marine Corps F-35 went missing Sunday, but there was in fact a public alert out because an F-35 seemed to misplace itself, taking its stealth capabilities to a whole new level.

The base offered an explanation on Facebook.

“Personnel from Joint Base Charleston and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort(MCAS Beaufort SC)are responding to a mishap involving an F-35B Lightning II jet from Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron (VMFAT) 501 with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing,” the post stated, noting that the pilot ejected and was reported hospitalized in stable condition.

“Emergency response teams are still trying to locate the F-35. The public is asked to cooperate with military and civilian authorities as the effort continues,” the post stated.

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The F-35 was in autopilot mode when the pilot bailed out, so it could have gone all kinds of places, Jeremy Huggins, a representative of  Joint Base Charleston, said, according to NBC.

He said the search is focusing on the area around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, which is north of the base, based on the last position reported by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The military did not explain why the pilot ejected.

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Some folks might get a little upset at the thought that the military cannot find an aircraft that, according to Air and Space Forces, costs between $78.3 and $80.9 million per plane. Manufacturer Lockheed Martin calls the F-35 series the “Most Advanced Fighter Jet in the World.”

Republican Rep. Nancy Grace of South Carolina was among them.

“How in the hell do you lose an F-35?” she posted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

“How is there not a tracking device and we’re asking the public to what, find a jet and turn it in?” Mace wrote.

The jet’s transponder, which usually allows the military to find its own aircraft was not working “for some reason that we haven’t yet determined,” Huggins told The Washington Post.

“The aircraft is stealth, so it has different coatings and different designs that make it more difficult than a normal aircraft to detect,” Huggins said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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