Mocking The Military: The Elusive $78 Million Missing F-35B

A U.S. military base is contacting nearby residents requesting assistance locating the missing Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II aircraft. Online responses have ranged from humorous photoshopped images to invoking the “finders keepers” rule due to officials’ challenges in tracking down the stealth aircraft.

The missing jet is valued at over $78 million and is one of 353 belonging to the USMC. It was involved in an incident on Sunday afternoon according to Joint Base Charleston. Fortunately, the pilot safely ejected and is in stable condition, but the aircraft’s whereabouts remain unknown.

Based on the jet’s last known position and coordination with the FAA, the search focused on the area north of JB Charleston. The search area encompasses Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion. Lake Moultrie, covering 60,000 acres with a maximum depth of 75.47 feet has been a primary focus.

Jeremy Huggins, a JBC spokesperson noted that the aircraft’s transponder was not functioning. Therefore, they must have the public’s assistance in locating it. The F-35B’s stealth features and design further complicate detection efforts.

Reports indicate that the jet could travel autonomously for hundreds of miles, which may involve Americans in more distant search areas. The Air Force is collaborating with the Marine Corps in this search and defines this incident as a “Class A Mishap.”

This incident is not the first incident involving an F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter. A similar aircraft crashed in Texas in December last year. In response to JBC’s appeal for help, social media users took the opportunity to engage in playful banter as expected. One user suggested the “finders keepers” rule.

Rep. Matt Gaetz also joined the conversation with a lighthearted question about the F-35’s pronouns. While the situation has sparked humor online, the military continues its efforts to locate the missing aircraft. They encourage anyone with information to contact them at 843-963-3600 with information.

As the search for the missing F-35B Lightning II unfolds, the mix of humor and concern highlights the unprecedented challenges in locating a stealth aircraft with a malfunctioning transponder. While online banter has added some fun to the situation, the multimillion-dollar aircraft’s disappearance remains a severe issue.

This incident highlights the complexities of modern military technology. As we await updates on this quest, it’s a reminder that even advanced machinery can occasionally vanish into thin air leaving us with the curious question of how.