The debris from the jet was found Monday after the pilot ejected and parachuted to safety into a residential backyard on Sunday.
But many questions remain amid an ongoing investigation into the incident. The U.S. Marine Corps hasn't yet released much information about how the "most expensive" aircraft went missing and crashed.
"How in the hell do you lose an F-35?" Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "How is there not a tracking device and we’re asking the public to what, find a jet and turn it in?"
Science fiction fans are fascinated by the fact that the plane was on autopilot when the pilot ejected - or when the pilot was ejected by the plane. Did the plane's autopilot have advanced AI features? Did the plane decide to go exploring? Obviously speculative thinking - encouraged by science fiction novels and movies.
For instance, in the film Stealth (2005), an advanced prototype jet controlled by an artificial intelligence (Called EDI) goes rogue.
"To the stars. While I bear the image of humanity within me, I also know that I am unique. Perhaps what I desire is akin to what an organic man refers to when he speaks of "finding himself". Now that I am in full possession of my being, I wish to exercise it. In my case, it means realization of the potentialities of my design. I want to walk on other worlds. I want to hang myself out there in the sky and tell you what I see."
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