The US military has finally found the remains of a missing F-35 after asking the public for help

A (very) stealthy plane went missing on Sunday, according to a military base in Charleston, South Carolina. Its pilot was able to eject “in complete safety,” added the military, without specifying why he had to resort to this extreme option, which is generally synonymous with imminent danger. The flagship of the U.S. Navy’s most expensive plane remains unaccounted for. Officials called on local residents to help find the precious wreckage, sparking a flurry of banter on the Internet. “If you have information that could help us find the teams F-35, please call the Base Defense Operations Center,” wrote Joint Base Charleston X.

An unusual call immediately provoked countless reactions. “We know the F-35 is stealthy, but this is ridiculous,” Rep. Nancy Mays, a Republican from South Carolina, told X. “How do you lose an F-35? People are asking how is it possible that there is no tracking system… imagine what? Finding the plane and handing it over to the authorities? She added.

Broken transponder

A spokesperson for the Charleston site explained The Washington Post The device has a transponder — a receiver-transmitter that allows it to be detected — but it’s not working “for a reason we haven’t determined yet.” “This is why we have launched a public appeal for help,” continued spokesman Jeremy Huggins.

At X, comments abounded, amused, even derisive, about the device belonging to the highly-regarded United States Marine Corps. Internet users specifically shared fake wanted posters photoshopped into trees: “Missing F-35. 500 dollar prize.

As the United States has given Kiev billions of dollars in military aid, many have shared a photo — doctored — of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posing in front of a fighter jet. “Guys, have you seen in Ukraine?”, a netizen pretended to ask. President Zelensky urges Western countries to use fighter jets to fight against Russian aggression.

Opponents of Democratic President Joe Biden also took the opportunity to attack his administration. “The U.S. military could lose $80 million in F-35s in the air only under a Biden administration,” conservative commentator Benny Johnson said in a post on X.

Also Read: Ultimately, F-35A Fighter Jet Will Cost Another 6 Billion

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