A stealth-capable US fighter jet vanished on Sunday – not from prying eyes but rather from the American military, prompting an unusual call to the public to help locate the missing multimillion-dollar plane.
After what authorities labeled a “mishap,” a pilot flying an F-35 in the southern state of South Carolina on Sunday afternoon ejected from the craft.
The pilot survived, but the military was left with an expensive problem: it couldn’t find the jet, leading Joint Base Charleston to ask for help from local residents.
“If you have any information that may help our recovery teams locate the F-35, please call the Base Defense Operations Center,” a post from the base read on X, formerly known as Twitter.
We’re working with @MCASBeaufortSC to locate an F-35 that was involved in a mishap this afternoon. The pilot ejected safely. If you have any information that may help our recovery teams locate the F-35, please call the Base Defense Operations Center at 843-963-3600.
— Joint Base Charleston (@TeamCharleston) September 17, 2023
Base authorities said they were searching, in coordination with federal aviation regulators, around two lakes north of the city of Charleston.
The planes, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, cost around $80 million each.