A South Carolina man has gone viral over his unique response to a missing F-35 jet crashing outside his home.
As previously reported, the F-35 went missing over South Carolina earlier this week after its pilot was forced to eject following some sort of mishap.
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) September 18, 2023
Well, the F-35 eventually turned back up right outside South Carolina resident Randolph White’s home, and his response was epic.
NEW: Williamsburg county local Randolph White explains what he heard when the F-35 fighter jet crashed near his home.
“I heard a screeching… between a screech and a whistle.”
“I said, what in the world is this? And I heard a BOOM and my whole… pic.twitter.com/w3GI5qoQzC
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) September 20, 2023
“I was in the bathroom taking a shave, and I heard a screeching — between a screech and a whistle. I said what in the world is this? And I heard a BOOM, and the whole house shook,” the man said in the clip above.
“The first thought that came to me, I said, ‘Well, did a meteorite come from outer space or something?’ And I said, ‘Well, if it was an airplane, it needs to be reported because that thing was flying just too low,'” he added.
And a star is born!
To say the man’s gone viral would be an understatement. He’s hit every corner of the Internet and, in the process, won the hearts of millions.
See some reactions below:
I trust this gentleman’s version of events far more than the government’s.
— Western Lensman (@WesternLensman) September 20, 2023
This guy is hilarious! And you just know he is telling the truth. Pure heart of America!
— Webmiester (@YourWebmiester) September 20, 2023
Randolph’s description is both endearing and comedic. It’s a breath of fresh air in today’s news stories!
— Lindsay Porter (@LindsayPor50286) September 20, 2023
Omg watch this video. This guy is honest and hilarious . He is the next viral video and meme. I guarantee it
— StudyLate (@derkdiggl3r) September 21, 2023
lol that’s the best description of a plane “landing” I’ve ever heard. Someone get this guy on a space so we can ask more questions!
— Hot Takes (@Hot_Takes10) September 20, 2023
If anyone was meant to hear that crash – – it was him!
What a great clip!
The life and times of Randolph White!
— Bonita Barrymore (pen name) (@MermaeTales) September 20, 2023
He’s not the only witness. NBC News points to a couple that were celebrating their son’s 7th birthday Sunday afternoon when they spotted the F-35 flying “inverted.”
“Our kids always give a little salute, so we said, ‘Look at the plane. Oh my gosh, it’s so low.’ And it was kind of probably 100 feet above the tree tops, and almost going inverted,” the wife, Adrian Truluck, recalled.
“It was probably three quarters of the way. We could see the canopy [of the plane],” her husband, Stephen Truluck, added.
“They didn’t think much of it at the time, they said, because Shaw Air Force Base is about 60 miles away. But after learning an F-35 fighter jet had gone missing — and that a debris field was found Monday just miles from their home in rural Williamsburg County — they realized what they saw likely wasn’t just any aircraft,” NBC News notes.
The missing jet became a viral phenomenon on Sunday when Joint Base Charleston asked the public for help locating it.
“The jet’s pilot had ‘ejected safely’ just before 2 p.m., but the military said it could not locate the F-35, which is known for its stealth mode capabilities, because its transponder did not appear to be working. It wasn’t until more than 24 hours later when the base announced a debris field had been located in Williamsburg County,” according to NBC News.
With the F-35 having since been “found,” many questions remain unanswered. For example, why did the pilot have to eject himself from the plane in the first place? How did it manage to keep going for so long after the pilot ejected? And why did it take the authorities so long to find it?
“The mishap is currently under investigation. We are unable to provide additional details to preserve the integrity of the investigatory process,” Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Joe Leitner said in a statement to The Hill.
That said, reports suggest weather may have played a role.
“Audio from Sunday’s crash shows the pilot telling emergency responders, after ejecting, that he ‘lost it in the weather,'” the Daily Mail exclusively reported.
The formerly missing jet is reportedly a single-seat F-35B made by Lockheed Martin and cost $100 million.
“Described by Lockheed as the ‘most advanced fighter jet in the world,’ the aircraft can reach speeds of 1,200 mph, operate undetected in hostile airspace, and land vertically with short take-offs,” according to The Hill.
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