Missing F-35 fighter jet reportedly found in a field in Williamsburg County, South Carolina [updates]
In less than 24 hours since the US military requested public assistance in locating the missing $80 million F-35 stealth jet, various reports and speculations are circulating on social media, particularly on X (formerly Twitter), regarding the jet’s potential whereabouts.
InsiderPaper, citing a post on X, reported an unverified claim that an unidentified F-35 jet had been discovered in Havana, Cuba. However, it’s essential to note that there has been no official confirmation from the US Air Force regarding the precise location of the missing F-35 jet. At present, these rumors and theories lack substantiation, and the official status remains that the F-35 jet has not yet been located.
Immediately after the post, the keyword “Cuba” began to trend on X, garnering about 250,000 hashtags. In a post on X, a user that goes by the name Shadow of Ezra wrote:
“The jet was hacked, it ejected its pilot and is most likely already in a Chinese base in Cuba.”
The jet was hacked, it ejected its pilot and is most likely already in a Chinese base in Cuba. pic.twitter.com/U8yDP26b2W
— Shadow of Ezra (@ShadowofEzra) September 18, 2023
Nevertheless, other X users argued that the events leading to the F-35’s disappearance couldn’t have been the result of hacking. “No the pilot is hospitalized stateside. The plane was not hacked. Transponder failed, hence the appeal for a search,” another user wrote.
No the pilot is hospitalized stateside. The plane was not hacked. Transponder failed, hence the appeal for a search.
— Kartott™ (@karentotten) September 18, 2023
Meanwhile, the United States military has called upon the public for assistance in locating a high-value F-35B fighter jet valued at $100 million, as reported by BBC on Monday. The aircraft went off radar screens on Sunday while the pilot was conducting a flight mission in the southern state of South Carolina.
Across social media platforms like X and others, individuals have been actively sharing posts and speculating about the possibility of the jet being found in Havana. Some have even resorted to humor in response to the situation.
“Did a foreign government take remote control of the F-35?” one X user asked. “If I saw this in a TV show I would think it was just lazy writing and a predictable plot,” another user wrote.
BREAKING: Unidentified F-35 lands in Havana. The Cuban government has not released any information yet. pic.twitter.com/jAZKkuIwtI
— The General (@GeneralMCNews) September 18, 2023
“If it had gotten all the way to Cuba it would have been high enough to be picked up on the radar,” Forbes reported, citing Dr. Matthew J. Schmidt, associate professor of national security and political science at the University of New Haven.
According to a report by Forbes, there is a belief among aviation experts that the aircraft might have crashed amidst dense vegetation or currently rests at the depths of a nearby lake.
5:19 PM EST Updates: The story of the missing F-35 is getting stranger by the minute. According to ABC News, the US military has ordered a two-day stand-down for all jets even as Marines continue to search for the F-35 after the “mishap.”
As Marines continue to search for F-35 after "mishap," officials order two-day stand-down for all jets. https://t.co/hQGt9CJTr8
— ABC News (@ABC) September 18, 2023
9:30 PM EST Updates: Officials from Joint Base Charleston have purportedly confirmed that the missing F-35 fighter jet has been located in a field within Williamsburg County, South Carolina, according to reports from local news station NBC 2.
“Officials with Joint Base Charleston confirmed that debris from a F-35 fighter jet that went missing Sunday has been located near Williamsburg County.”