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Lost and Found: The $80M F-35 Jet’s Unexpected Adventure

A U.S. F-35 fighter jet, like the one the U.S. military is looking for that went missing somewhere over South Carolina.Bo Amstrup / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP via Getty Images file

UPDATE.- The U.S. military’s F-35 jet, with a price tag of $80 million, has been located. Debris from this state-of-the-art stealth fighter jet was discovered in a field two hours north of Charleston, following its mysterious disappearance after the pilot’s ejection over South Carolina.

The saga began when the pilot, prioritizing safety, ejected over North Charleston. While he managed a safe descent into a residential area and was subsequently hospitalized in stable condition, the jet continued its journey, seemingly with a mind of its own.

Joint Base Charleston, in a move that might be considered unconventional for such a high-tech piece of machinery, reached out to the public for assistance in locating the jet. The F-35, renowned for its stealth capabilities, appeared to be taking its role of “going undetected” a tad too seriously.

Social media platforms, including X (formerly Twitter), were abuzz with light-hearted jabs at the situation. Comments ranged from faux sightings of the jet at local convenience stores to playful suggestions that the nation’s top detectives be enlisted to join the search.

Jeremy Huggins, a spokesperson for Joint Base Charleston, in what could be considered an understatement, noted that the F-35’s transponder was non-operational. He added, “The aircraft is designed for stealth, making it inherently more challenging to detect than your average plane.”

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