The U.S. military says the search for the missing F-35 fighter jet has been focused around two large lakes near Charleston, South Carolina.
The U.S. military said search teams were still looking for a missing F-35 fighter jet, with the failure to find the plane prompting questions, shock and ridicule.
Joint Base Charleston said Monday afternoon that it was working with other military divisions and U.S. authorities to attempt to locate the F-35B Lightning II, “using both ground and air assets.”
“We appreciate the support we have received from our mission partners and all organizations involved as integrated teams search and prepare for recovery of the aircraft,” the base said in a statement shared online.
The F-35 disappeared over South Carolina on Sunday after the pilot ejected for unknown reasons, prompting the base to put out a call on social media asking anyone with information to call.
Joint Base Charleston said that “based on the plane’s last known position,” the search was centered around two large lakes north of the city of Charleston – Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion – suggesting that ‘he could have crashed.
The pilot parachuted safely into a North Charleston neighborhood, leaving the F-35 flying in what some call a “zombie state.”
According to its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, the plane’s main advantages are that it is almost impossible to track with radar and is equipped with sensors and other advanced equipment.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way. How the hell can you lose an F-35?
How come there is no tracking device and we are asking the public to find a plane and return it?
– Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) September 18, 2023
The disappearance of a highly advanced plane, costing around $80 million, has sparked incredulous comments online.
Some posted manipulated photographs of “lost” signs on trees, offering rewards for finding the missing plane.
“How the hell can you lose an F-35?” How come there is no tracking device and we are asking the public to find a plane and return it? Nancy Mace, a member of Congress representing the Charleston area, said on social media.
Mace said in another post on X, the former website known as Twitter, that she was going to be briefed Monday afternoon by the U.S. Marine Corps about the situation.
“No one knows if the F-35 is in the air or underwater,” she later said.