A U.S. military base is requesting for people in the area to call them if they find the lost F-35B Lightning II from the Marine Corps.
Officials don’t seem to be able to find the stealth plane, which has led to some jokes about it online. People have posted faked selfies of themselves camping with the F-35B and used the old saying, “Finders keepers.”
Joint Base Charleston says that the lost jet, which is one of 353 owned by the USMC and worth more than $78 million, was “involved in an unfortunate mishap” this week.
Even though the pilot was able to escape and is now in good health, no one knows where his jet that belonged to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing’s Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 went.
“Within the vicinity of Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, just north of JB Charleston, we are concentrating our efforts in cooperation with the FAA and according to the jet’s last recorded position,” JBC said in a statement on X.
Thus far, the search has been concentrated on Lake Moultrie, which covers an area of 60,000 acres and reaches a maximum depth of 75.47 feet.
Public assistance was requested because the jet’s transponder was malfunctioning “for some reason which we still have not determined,” according to JBC spokesperson Jeremy Huggins, who talked with the Washington Post.
“The plane is stealth, which means it has different coatings and designs that make it harder to find than a regular plane,” said Huggins.
Newsweek said that the jet could fly a distance of hundreds of miles on autopilot, which means that Americans farther away could also have a role on where it lands.
This accident is probably a Class A accident, since the plane is probably destroyed and will cost more than the minimum $2,500,000 to fix.
Last December, an F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter also went down in Texas. USNI News said that the pilot also got out of the plane safely.
When JBC asked for help to find the lost plane, one user replied, “Finders keepers.”
Another user wrote, “Stealthy is gray with white spots and weighs about 24,000 pounds.”
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) asked on Twitter, “What are some of the F-35’s pronouns?”
One joke said, “Dude, Where’s My F-35?” This was a reference to the Ashton Kutcher movie “Dude, Where’s My Car?” from 2000, which was about two careless drunks who lose track of the vehicle they were driving after a night of partying.
Another user made a “Where’s Waldo?” scene with the sunk vessel as one of the characters.
And there was the mocking Facebook Marketplace listing for a “Gently used F-35 Fighter” that found its way toward X.
JBC has asked anyone who may have seen a fiery wreck worth millions of dollars north of Charleston to give them a call at 843-963-3600.