Lifestyle | Just For Fun

Vanishing Act: The F-35 Mystery and 8 Other Planes That Disappeared Without a Trace

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for details.

Please Return If Found

Last month the US military had to seek public assistance in locating an F-35 that vanished over South Carolina after the pilot ejected due to an unforeseen “mishap.” The incident unfolded in coordination between Joint Base Charleston, situated in North Charleston, and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, as they collaborated to pinpoint the missing F-35B Lightning II jet on a Sunday afternoon.

NEW WINDSOR, NY - JULY 2, 2017: The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II from Stewart International Airport during the New York Airshow. — Photo by jgorzynik
NEW WINDSOR, NY – JULY 2, 2017: The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II from Stewart International Airport during the New York Airshow. Photo Credit: jgorzynik via Depositphotos

Fortunately, the pilot executed a successful ejection from the aircraft, subsequently receiving medical attention at a local medical center and being reported in stable condition.

The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, to which the jet belonged, confirmed the occurrence of Sunday’s “mishap” and the pilot’s secure ejection from the aircraft. Captain Joe Leitner, spokesperson for the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, expressed gratitude for the search-and-recovery efforts, clarifying that an investigation into the mishap is currently underway.

The jet was left in autopilot mode upon the pilot’s ejection, raising the possibility of its continued airborne existence for some time. Nonetheless, as of noon on Monday, authorities were confident that the aircraft was no longer in flight, though they continue to explore the circumstances surrounding this peculiar incident.

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., asking in a social media post: “How in the hell do you lose an F-35?”

“How is there not a tracking device and we’re asking the public to what, find a jet and turn it in?” she wrote.

8 Famous Missing Planes That Have Never Been Found

  • Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Model 10 Electra in 1937. She was a pioneering aviator who attempted to circumnavigate the globe, but disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. Her plane and fate remain unknown².
  • Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in 2014. It was a passenger flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing that vanished from radar and communication with no distress signal. Despite extensive searches, no confirmed debris or wreckage has been found².
  • Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 in 1962. It was a US military flight with 90 troops on board that took off from Guam and never arrived at its destination in the Philippines. There was no distress call or trace of the plane¹.
  • Boeing 727-233 in 2003. It was a cargo plane that took off without clearance from an airport in Angola with two men on board. The plane flew west over the Atlantic Ocean with its lights off and transponder not transmitting, and has never been seen since¹.
  • Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 2501 in 1950. It was a passenger flight from New York to Seattle that crashed into Lake Michigan during a storm. No bodies or wreckage were recovered from the lake².
  • Fuerza Aérea Argentina C-54 in 1965. It was an Argentine Air Force transport plane that disappeared en route from Panama to Argentina with 68 people on board. The plane may have crashed in the Costa Rican jungle or the Caribbean Sea, but no evidence has been found¹.
  • Star Dust in 1947. It was a British airliner that vanished over the Andes Mountains while flying from Buenos Aires to Santiago. The plane sent a mysterious final Morse code message that ended with “STENDEC”, which has never been explained³.
  • Glenn Miller’s UC-64 Norseman in 1944. He was a famous American musician and bandleader who went missing over the English Channel while flying to entertain US troops in France during World War II. His plane and body were never recovered⁴.

(1) List of missing aircraft – Wikipedia.
(2) 15 Planes That Have Gone Missing And Never Been Found.
(3) 10 Airplanes that Disappeared Mysteriously – Wonderslist.
(4) 10 Unsolved Airplane Mysteries | HowStuffWorks.

You Might Also Be Interested To Read