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Have you seen this missing piece of US government property? The United States Marine Corps has misplaced one like-new F-35B Lightning fighter plane and is asking for the public’s help in locating it.

This is the same United States government, by the way, that thinks you should undergo an extensive background check, submit your finger prints, pay a special tax, and wait an indeterminate period of time if the barrel on your rifle is less than 16 inches in length.

Quinton putting the Hybrid 46M on the .338 Lapua Magnum

They’ll make you go through those same steps and wait even longer if you want to reduce the ear-splitting sound your legally-owned firearm makes and shoot or hunt with a suppressor.

And if you happen to be a firearms retailer, God forbid you or your customers make a typo, misspell a word, or enter information in the wrong box on a 4473 form. If that happens, you stand a good chance of losing your license and likely your business.

ATF agents records 4473

But by all means, rack your brain and think back over the past weekend. Have you seen an $80 million fighter jet sitting around in a place you normally wouldn’t expect to see one?

The one that’s missing is big, black, kinda stealthy, and has lots of sophisticated weapons systems as part of its standard factory package. Those features apparently don’t, however, include a transponder or “black box.”

If you happen to run across it, please call 843-963-3600. Your government overlords will be very grateful for your help.

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  1. (SMH…)

    An Apple Airtag is what…$30? A person can keeps tabs on his/her child’s backpack, but the Gov can’t find a $100+ million aircraft?

    Gov can snoop to see if I’ve spent more than $600 anywhere to claim its tax, but it doesn’t have the ability (satellites, instrumentation, comms) to keep tabs on an F-35?

    If the pilot is alive and has been debriefed, they don’t know the general location it went down? They cannot use their satellite imaging to see the smoking wreckage? Isn’t a pilot supposed to aim the craft toward the ground and away from people before ejecting? Did the pilot send the craft a-flying into the wild blue yonder on autopilot, where somehow that autopilot doesn’t transmit its location and trajectory to Control back at base?

    Is Hunter Biden or Jotatoe skimming $$ off this situation?

    Where’s that fish? Because I smell something fishy…

    • Yeah, it’s not ‘lost’ for long.

      It may well be in many more pieces than when it took off earlier, however.

      EDIT – They are right, it’s lost :

      “The USMC F-35B may have traveled in a ‘zombie state’ after the pilot ejected, leaving its whereabouts unknown.”

      “But here’s the kicker: the DoD is saying the F-35B was put on autopilot prior to the ejection.”

      Holy crap, it gets worse and worse :

      “The Washington Post has comment from Joint Base Charleston that the jet’s transponder was not working at the time of the incident. They wouldn’t give any information on the type of sortie the jet was on at the time of the incident. From the article:

      “The jet’s transponder, which usually helps locate the aircraft, was not working “for some reason that we haven’t yet determined,” said Jeremy Huggins, a spokesman at Joint Base Charleston. “So that’s why we put out the public request for help.””

      As for “How could they lose a jet”, the damn airplane was DESIGNED to not be found in flight. At least it looks like it’s somewhere over US soil…

  2. It’s quite a stretch from the government infringing on our 2nd Amendment rights, to an accident involving a pilot and a multi-million dollar aircraft — unless you have some evidence that the government was either involved in malfeasance that caused the loss, or is hiding what happened to the plane.

    Reminder: there are still hundreds of aircraft missing that disappeared during World War II, and several have been located during the recent past. Airplanes are not small things, yet the surface of the Erf is uncomprehendingly vast and can easily hide evidence of the disappearance of innumerable large man-made objects.

    • WWII craft didn’t have satellite-interactive live telemetry & comms, and they were hammered together quickly to get as much equipment into service as fast as possible (the Haz family line has multiple pilots including WWII war theatre).

      • It takes electricity to run them fancy instrumentationals. At this time, we don’t know the nature of the emergency that forced the pilot to abandon his aircraft while it was still flying with the autopilot engaged.

        This seems a good time to invoke the “48-hour rule” until more definitive information is available. Blaming the BaiDeng administration for the loss of a single high-tech military aircraft just doesn’t wash.

        • Black boxes and locator beacons tend to be standalone units for power and function so they “should” be functioning normally as they tend to keep working after all kinds of abuse (getting shot blown up crashing burning etc). With that said yeah 2 days and see what else seeps out.

        • “It takes electricity to run them fancy instrumentationals.”

          It’s an ultra-stealth aircraft. Specifically designed not to emit or reflect RF energy. It’s literally invisible in flight to radio signals. It happened before dawn, so seeing it in flight would be unlikely, it’s painted flat black.

          “At this time, we don’t know the nature of the emergency that forced the pilot to abandon his aircraft while it was still flying with the autopilot engaged.””

          We do now, it was on autopilot when he punched out.

          On the upside, EVERYBODY is now looking for it…

        • “It takes electricity to run them fancy instrumentationals.”

          “That’s a lot of AAA batteries.”, the Marines said to justify funding for ‘battery changer’ personnel. The Air Force face palmed in response.

      • And it was lost during bad weather.

        They’ll probably find it in one of the lakes north of Charleston.

        • This is a very serious incident, imo. Eject from an F35 that is STILL FLYING? Horseshit. Likely it has been stolen.

        • “Likely it has been stolen.”

          It doesn’t have the range to leave the US…

        • Found dead on county road – that said, range is irrelevant, due to presumed autopilot capability. So my cynical skepticism is still plausible – fueled mostly by the idea that ejecting from a flight-worthy advanced craft is not a rational event.

          Note the wreck was unsecured on or by a road for hominy hours prior to the authorities catching up?

        • XZX, just because the jet will fly, or likely glide in this case, doesn’t mean it’s “flyable”. A complete electrical system failure would shut the engine, and possibly the flight controls, down. If they can’t move the flight controls and fly to an air strip or a road, the pilot’s only option is getting out. If the jet was flying straight and level, it will glide and descend until it hits the ground. It crashed about 50 miles away from where the pilot punched out. If it was flying high enough to have the auto pilot engaged, 50 miles is probably a realistic glide distance.

        • When I was with MAG 11 on Formosa in ’58 during the Straits Crisis, we had a pilot fly in afterburner, not realizing somehow that was the cause of his rapidly depleting fuel supply. He punched out but his F4D continued on and crashed into the harbor at Kaohsiung, doing extensive damage to a Chinese ship repair facility and scattering rockets and .50 cal ammo all over the place. Fortunately, we were able to pay off the damages fairly cheaply and no one was injured or killed on the ground. The pilot was permanently grounded while in MAG-11. I never did understand why no punitive measures were taken against him. Perhaps political influence. The CO did inform the pilot that he would never fly in any unit that the CO commanded. I know that because I could hear the CO very plainly chewing out the inept pilot. Our headquarters was an old WWII Japanese building with paper thin walls and the CO was not using his talking to the Wing CG voice. He was truly inept because immediately upon debriefing the pilot the CO took a similar a/c out, cut off the engines at the point where the pilot said he ejected and dead-sticked into the air base at Ping Tung.

    • I’m still looking for my bloody Spitfire, Ol’ Chap. The last time I saw the little bugga was when I had to hit the silk over Calais after a Jerry ack-ack battery got in a luck shot – bloody Hienny Bastards. So if you’ve tripped over a 31 foot fuselage and a 36 foot wing – provided it isn’t in pieces, then get in touch with the R.A.F @ 1-800-Biden’sa$chitthead.

    • Man with no name,

      It wasn’t government malfeasance per se. Rather, it was ineptitude: the plane had the same help desk, processor, and operating software as the MGM slot machines in Las Vegas.

      • are those machines anywhere near as reliable as the voting machines we’ve been using these last few :elections”>

      • It’s Air Force speak (or in this case USMC)

        A “Class A” mishap is death or dismemberment, or 1 mil in damage, or loss of an aircraft. Inclusive, so if two aircraft fly into each other and everyone dies it’s a single Class A mishap.

    • “Finders losers?”

      Since pretty much everything on that plane is classified, down to what it’s painted with, if you find it, you don’t want to keep it.

      Put it to you this way, when one crashed on takeoff from a British carrier in the Mediterranean sea awhile back (cause of crash, someone failed to remove an engine inlet cover), two US multi-billion dollar fast-attack submarines were assigned to over-watch the wreck on the seafloor until it was recovered. I fully expect the military police will guard the crash site with the same lethal zeal… 🙁

  3. I kept telling my wife the darn thing was too big for the garage, but she wanted it and by golly she figured out how to make it fit.

  4. I thought it hilarious that 95% of the crime guns recovered from criminals and at crime scenes last year were stolen from an ATF warehouse previously after they had been recorded as destroyed by the ATF. But now, a missing “Ultra-Sophisticated Warplane” is even better.

    • It’s a serious national security problem. The Chinese would LOVE to look the wreck over if they find it first.

      In the raid where Bin Laden was killed by our special forces, the tail boom of the stealth helicopter that crashed in the compound was “inspected” by the Chinese embassy personnel :

      “Pakistan let China see crashed U.S. “stealth” copter”

      • 99.9% the Chicoms had ALL the “blueprints”/design files before we managed to get the 1st prototype in the air. They have copied it.

      • What wreck? Do you think auto pilot can’t land it? It is likely in the back of a semi in pieces.

        But the good news is, we almost have gender parity in the Navy. and there is no crisis at the border – our new military is arriving by the trainload.

        • “What wreck? Do you think auto pilot can’t land it?”

          Is auto land a thing on military aircraft?

    • “95% of the crime guns recovered from criminals and at crime scenes last year were stolen from an ATF warehouse previously”

      Yeah, right… lol.

      • Yeah, right… and they are still finding them.

        Christopher Lee Yates, a former contract security guard at an ATF facility (the warehouse), over the course of three years, between 2016 to 2019, stole thousands of firearms, gun parts and ammunition and then sold the weapons across the country to criminal elements. Every one of them had been certified by ATF personnel as having been destroyed before the thefts. They have been found with criminals and at crime scenes all across the country, in 49 of 50 states. In 2019 when Yates was convicted for the thefts, it was thought he had stolen and sold 4,625 firearms.

        That has since changed because in 2022 95% of the guns recovered from criminals and at crime scenes revealed that Yates had stolen a lot more than previously thought. Which is why the ATF is on this ‘ghost gun’ kick and using the opportunity to make rules basically using their own stolen guns as the justification. The term ‘ghost gun’ does not mean a gun that someone made from a kit of some sort, to the ATF it actually means a gun without a serial number or a gun for which the serial number can not be immediately traced. The ability to call this ‘ghost gun’ helps disguise the fact that guns stolen from the ATF are on the streets by simply saying they recovered either ‘stolen’ guns or ‘illegally purchased’ guns or ‘ghost guns’ – what they are not telling you for these is they are ‘illegally purchased’ guns that were stolen from the ATF, that they are ‘ghost guns’ because the criminals removed the serial numbers of the guns that were stolen from ATF.

  5. I’d start looking in and around Beijing. It probably has enough chink parts onboard that it just flew there in its own. Or this could also just be another Biden repayment to his sponsors.

  6. I guess the smart plane is smarter than they thought? Kicked out the passenger like the car in Harry Potter then headed off on its own to form Skynet.

  7. I’m guessing, from the lack of an obvious smoking wreck, that the plane went down in water. I doubt anyone will be happening upon it while walking their dog.

    • Search efforts are currently north of the aircraft’s base, thank God…

    • That was my thought. If some civilian tower somewhere tracked it all the way to ground, then it doesn’t say much about about it’s stealthiness. Worse yet, some hacker kid tracking it with a modified marine radar system from the garage.

    • “At least the stealth part works”

      That’s exactly *WHY* they are having a problem tracking it… 🙁

    • In a semi. Headed for my guess Iran. I can find zero reason to bail from a flight-worthy aircraft of this nature – zero.

  8. “Agencies are seeking the public’s assistance in finding the wayward jet”
    FAA: Did y’all hear anything unusual? Maybe sorta like a bang?
    USMC: More of a boom, really. Or maybe a splash.
    FAA: Okay, call it a boom then. Or didja see anything?
    USMC: No they wouldn’t have seen anything
    FAA: Oh yeah right, it’s a stealth fighter – I forgot

    • “Based on the plane’s location and trajectory, the search for the F-35 Lightning II jet was focused on Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, said Senior Master Sergeant Heather Stanton at Joint Base Charleston. Both lakes are north of North Charleston.”

      Take a look at a map, and you’ll find that both lakes are large bodies of water.

      And North Charleston is located right on the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, although the ocean is in the opposite direction of the supposed flight path.

  9. The USMC having F-35s is like every town police needing a SWAT team

    Yes, VTOL and all that, but this is what you get.

      • I am thinking hard time. Why eject from a flight-worthy F35? Autopilot in this thing could easily be capable of finding a predetermined spot and landing.

      • “That pilot’s flight career is now over.”

        Maybe not, if the investigation determines that was his only option…

  10. Biden, Garland’s relationship reportedly on the rocks following Hunter special counsel appointment (In other words Biden tried to influence in Hunters prosecution and is upset that Garland didn’t let him).

    • Maybe not, if it could be found by an enemy after being shot down.

      They would rather it never be found by an enemy like China…

  11. The gun used to kill an Ingraham High School student was reported as “lost” less than two weeks before the shooting, according to a police report.

    What law enforcement is going to be doing is talking to the firearm owner – how was the firearm stored, when did they learn it was missing, what action did they take to find it and how quickly did they report it to law enforcement?” said William Kirk, an attorney and president of Washington Gun Law.

  12. it’ll never be found. One of our regular E.T. visitors called dibs on it when they saw it was unmanned and took it home ad a souvenir.

  13. I seriously doubt it’s “lost”. Remember search for the Red October? Guarantee it’s in the hands of either China or Muslim country who will attacking the US in the near future. Here’s a gift guys. Copy it and feel free to use it against our “useless eaters”. Before you think “that’s crazy”, give it 6 months to 5 years, then give me a reply if we still have power.

    • By the time a military aircraft reaches production, our enemies know as much about it as the engineers who developed it.

      “Military secrets are the most fleeting of all.”

      • “Military secrets are the most fleeting of all.”

        How to make a military jet engine that won’t melt hasn’t been discovered by the Chinese to this day…

    • Like I said earlier.. “Firefox” with Clint Eastwood.. Stealing a Russian jet? Remember that one?

      • Yep. But it takes an enemy pilot to steal the plane.

        I’m not sure how you’d insert one after the Marine pilot ejected and the plane is still in flight, with no canopy. They tried it in “Airport 1975” although unsuccessfully.

        • The crashed jet was found this evening in SC.

          And now I’m being told that my post is “spam” and has been blocked.

    • NOT leaving a comment is NOT an indication of ignorance or lack of being politically active. Infact, even with a hundred million comments put forward, there is no reason to think the movement would not go forward. Letting DC know that a hundred million people own guns means that there are that many gun owners and it’s even in writing at that point. Doing this does not in any way exert pressure. Being a dues paying member of a gun rights org might. Being an active voter might too. But finger wagging achieves nothing and that is exactly what leaving a comment is. The only point is to let those in Washington know that We The People see them and what they are doing. Well, OK. So they are being seen.

      • The point was not just about leaving a comment or not. The point was building a record of those opposed to constitutional rights being trampled on – and if the record isn’t there, the absence of that is used by the government to justify that ‘hey, they didn’t object to it significantly so they must agree with what we are doing.” – the point was ignorance of the process, and the government is more than happy to let the public remain ignorant of the process of building a good record of opposing consensus to having constitutional rights trampled – so yeah, they do want you to be ignorant of that.

        • Well, that doesn’t mean that.

          The prosecution will use anything at their disposal. It wont matter if you modified your carry gun or not any more than wether you keep your paper targets or not.

          Posting your name and address for the FBI/ATF like that in a world of red flag laws is just taunting them. It’s the modern ‘come and take it’ flag flown on the front lawn. Well, they ARE coming and taking them. THAT is the result. The Democrat left is operating out in the open and without fear. That much is completely obvious. If they fear anything, it’s Trump. Which is why they go after him like they do. Support for Trump is orders of magnitude more powerful than ANY posted comment.

          We all post comments to TTAG daily and for years. These politicians couldn’t care less. Unless perhaps to use it against us.

          I agree they want us ignorant but that is not indicated with this one way or the other any more than being a member of a large Christian church make someone pro-life.

        • shes talking about commenting to the ATF in the period of comment, not on social media specifically.

  14. Climate activism has the ‘hallmarks of a religion’. (which by the way parallels the ‘hallmarks of religion’ do present in anti-gun circles)

  15. The left goes nuts when it comes to guns in the hand of the right. Meanwhile it’s always the Democrat left that ends up in so much more trouble doing stupid stuff. Between Biden and Obama, they have ‘lost’ more weapons than anyone else. But DC and the media just don’t seem to care. While Biden tells us that we need an F15 to take over governments, he gives all the small arms he possibly can to Ukraine. Even to the point of leaving us with barely anything.

    Every single thing these people do is done with the desire to destroy America and reduce any resource that exists.


  17. Sadly, according to the media all of our soldiers, Marines, airmen, sailors, and coasties are too busy getting flown across the country getting abortions, addAdickToMe operations, or hackAvajIntaMe operations, (on our dime of course). Do you people all think these brave Americans have time to actually keep track of an $80 million, most modern in the world, top secret spy plane? Where’s you priorities at?? Jeez….

    • What we have seen in the Russia/Ukraine conflict is that the very same sorta thing is taking place with the Russian military. If they were anything like they used to be back in the 80’s, they would have rolled right over Ukraine and been done with them inside of a month. That’s what I expected and it was an eye opener to me how weak everyone is becoming.

  18. ya know what you do when you can’t find your car keys in the house? Ya retrace your steps, so try that marines.


    • Throw your phone against a concrete wall as hard as you can. Then tell me how well that tracker works.

  19. Several years ago, I spent a winter helping one of my guys walking, identifying trees, and mapping approximately 200 acres of woodlots and connecting fencerows on the big church camp property where we worked. When we were done, we could look at a map, select something like a specific 3 inch caliber pawpaw tree, enter the coordinates into my handheld GPS, and then let it direct us to within 8 ft of that tree. This was with an older unit that I used to mark fishing spots on lakes.

    My neighbor is a local excavator. There’s equipment with GPS tech that allows him to dig blind to 1/10 of an inch, even around obstacles. When he told me it was precise to a tenth, I was thinking tenth of a foot, and thought it was pretty cool. Then he said no, tenth of an inch. For example, a long-arm excavator dredging the bottom of a lake around a dock without hitting any of the posts in 10 ft of water. And that’s small time piddling stuff compared to what’s available now.

    How could the military not know the precise location of this plane at any instant in time since it left the runway? Inconceivable.

    • ‘Cause it crashed. Stuff breaks in a crash.

      Did you see video of the site where it went down? It wasn’t a parking lot.

    • Hawk,

      That very high accuracy stuff requires access to a local correction signal that is integrated with what the GPS unit on the equipment is ‘seeing.’

      Most farmers that use GPS assisted equipment have a GPS differential unit that they place in the same spot every time they are out in the field, unless they have access to an area wide broadcast from a permanently mounted differential unit.

      The outfit I used to work for had one mounted on the roof of the office building that the survey / drafting department was headquartered in. The signal was acceptable for sub inch measurements within a several mile radius. (I’m not sure of the actual distance from the transmitter where they de-rated the measurements, but I know the transmitter covered at least a 10 mile radius, and also sported a data connection to the University of Washington for integration with a bunch of sites around the area.)

      Last I knew, there was a satellite broadcast that most modern civilian aviation, (and some hand held units,) could access named WAAS, (Wide Area Augmentation System) that will increase the accuracy quite a bit. Most airports have a local GPS differential transmitter to improve the accuracy of the ‘virtual glide slope’ that the onboard nav systems generate from the GPS info. (I’m not sure how many airports still have the old style phased signal ‘glide slope’ transmitters anymore.)

      Just for grins I took a WAAS equipped Garmin to a helipad and bookmarked the center of the pad about 3′ up off of the ground. Three or four years later, I put the unit in the mode where it would guide you back to the spot, and it put me within about a one foot sphere of where I had originally make the bookmark, INCLUDING the elevation above the pad. (Elevation is usually where most civilian GPS units have the most trouble.)

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