There’s a whole lot to say about the missing F-35, none of it good (but some of it funny)

It’s not a news story anyone in America ever expected to read, although maybe two-and-a-half years into the Biden administration, we should have learned to expect the unexpected: An unpiloted F-35 combat aircraft is flying somewhere over America on a trajectory known only to itself. The memes are wonderful, but the facts should disturb all of us.

The story sounds like a Cold War farce but, as the local Charleston paper reports, it’s very real:

A Marine Corps team is on the ground in the Lowcountry searching for a missing fighter jet after its pilot ejected Sept. 17 and surfaced in a North Charleston neighborhood.


The transponder on the jet that disappeared Sunday was not working correctly, which made it difficult to know its exact location, Huggins said.


Marine Capt. Joseph Leitner at the Beaufort air station confirmed that the plane was not carrying any live missiles. “There was no air-to-ground or air-to-air ordinance aboard the aircraft,” he said.


North Charleston police were called to a home on the street at 1:46 p.m. after the pilot landed in a resident’s backyard, according to an incident report. Security personnel from Joint Base Charleston arrived and took possession of the pilot’s parachute and other military gear. But a search was still underway for the cockpit seat, the report stated.

At least we know that the jet, which was designed to be a stealth fighter, lives up to that reputation.

Image: An F-35A fighter. Public domain.

But, honestly, how in the world can we have a functional military that loses $80-100 million jets? It’s one thing if we design them so that the enemy can’t spot them but did anyone in the chain of command think that we might want to find them?

The contention is that the plane’s transponder was turned off. How in the world did that happen? Was it incompetence? Or are we looking at something worse, such as sabotage or even an enemy action? Perhaps the plane is winging its way to China or Russia even as we speak. And speaking of China, maybe the Chinese weather balloon can find the jet for us.

As of this writing, the search for the missing jet is continuing:

Based on the facts available, I’m also troubled by the pilot ejecting from the plane over a heavily populated area. Of course, the plane may have ceased responding to anything he did, in which case, there was nothing he could do but save his own life.

However, if he still had some control over it, I think he had an obligation to try to ditch it over the nearby Atlantic Ocean rather than jumping out over North Charleston. Had that plane swiftly followed him down into North Charleston, the carnage could have been immense. As it is, until that plane is on the ground, the possibility remains that it can crash somewhere disastrous. Think of it as the Schroedinger’s cat of F-35s.

Currently, of course, our enemies are reveling in yet another showing of the American military’s incompetence. While the Pentagon obsesses about transgenderism, drag shows, Ukraine, race, and other things, the functional part of the military is falling apart.

The only bright side in all of this is the plethora of memes. We may be a failing country, but we still have our sense of humor:

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