Marine Corps On the Hunt for Vanished F-35 Fighter Jet in South Carolina


The recovery process is underway for the remnants of an F-35 fighter jet that mysteriously vanished in South Carolina over the past weekend. Both the Marine Corps and an informed defense official have confirmed that a serious investigation is in motion, focused on discerning the circumstances of the “mishap” which necessitated the pilot’s abrupt ejection.

The debris field, scattered approximately two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston, was located on Monday. This discovery followed a comprehensive ground and air search involving multiple agencies for the F-35B Lightning II jet. Esteemed manufacturer Lockheed Martin describes this model as “the most lethal, survivable, and connected fighter jet in the world.”

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The jet was reported missing on Sunday, subsequent to the pilot’s ejection. The pilot has since been transported to a nearby medical facility and is deemed to be in a stable condition, as reported by Joint Base Charleston.

Prior to locating the debris field, there was a rare appeal to the public from the military for assistance in locating the elusive F-35 jet. Its last recorded position was near Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, which lie to the northwest of Charleston city.

The local community is currently being requested to keep their distance from the wrecked fighter jet. This is to allow recovery crews the required space to safely secure the debris field in Williamsburg County.

As part of a statement, Joint Base Charleston divulged that, “We are transferring incident command to the USMC this evening, as they begin the recovery process.” The specifics of what transpired to make the pilot eject remain uncertain.

A statement released Monday by the Marines detailed, “The mishap is currently under investigation, and we are unable to provide additional details to preserve the integrity of the investigative process.”

This incident is not without precedent, with several similar aviation mishaps occurring in recent weeks. The Marine Corps announced a pause in flight operations on Monday for two days following three “Class-A aviation mishaps” within the span of six weeks.

The rationale behind the pause being, “This stand down is being taken to ensure the service is maintaining operational standardization of combat-ready aircraft with well-prepared pilots and crews,” as outlined in a news release by the Marine Corps.

Although specifics pertaining to the other two mishaps were not addressed in the statement released by the Marine Corps, two aviation incidents took place in August. On August 24, a pilot was tragically killed when a Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet combat jet crashed near San Diego. That accident is still being investigated. Shortly thereafter, a Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey crashed during military exercises in Australia. The tragic accident claimed the lives of three US Marines and left five others critically injured. This crash is likewise under investigation.

At present, there is no suggestion of any relation between these crashes. However, all the incidents have been classified as Class-A mishaps by the Marine Corps. This classification refers to an incident that results in fatalities or propels property damage upwards of $2.5 million.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.