Pilot of Crashed F-22 Vanished

An F-22 performing the last of a series of training missions in Alaska has disappeared.  Radar stations throughout the region scrambled to contact the missing plane after it dropped off radar without any sign from the pilot that he was in distress, lost, or anything was out of the ordinary. And now as the wreckage of that jet has been discovered, the mystery continues as no sign of the pilot can be discovered at the scene.   While search crews investigate the matter, the pilot’s disappearance has left many questions unanswered.

The pilot’s family, up until hours ago were still holding out for a miracle as search crews hoped to find that he somehow made his way out of the vehicle, which is capable of reaching speeds of well over the speed of sound, and whose maximum speed is still to this day not a matter of public knowledge for defense reasons.  But no sign of the pilot being discovered is by no means normal for an aircraft.  And the fact that the craft simply disappeared without any sign of distress makes this case particularly unusual.

Search crews have been looking throughout the area for signs that the pilot could have ejected and then used his survival training to build a shelter and possibly a signal fire.  It does, however, seem unusual that the pilot would be unable to utilize a GPS system or personal radio or beacon to call for help.  There are many possibilities here that the system could have failed due to weather conditions, defects in the equipment, or by other means.  But this coupled with the fact that even the seat itself has not been discovered lends quite a few questions in this strange case, though it is possible it was simply difficult to identify within the wrecked F-22.

Why did the craft suddenly disappear from Radar?  Where is the pilot?  And what caused the craft to ultimately crash?  For obvious reasons there are still a few details on the case that are still unclear.  And the ongoing investigation into the tragedy (which we ultimately hope will have a less tragic) leaves many details yet to become available to the public.  Ultimately we hope this mystery is solved with the recovery of the pilot so he can return safely to his family and continue his career without injury, though officials have suggested the likelihood for the pilot’s survival is waning as time goes on.  Generally the window of opportunity for rescuers to discover a missing pilot in a crash incident start fairly strong, but wane quickly in conditions where the temperature can drop below zero in seconds.

Pararescuers, according to a recent CBS article found no trace of the pilot at the wreckage which suggests he may have been able to escape.  But the lack of any sign on the ground has led some to come the strange conclusion that he simply vanished without a trace.  Tales of missing pilots and crews lead back to the disappearance of crew members in the L-8 Blimp in 1942 and derelict vessels of the sea.

Update: The ejection seat has been located within the craft, and have revealed along with the name of Airforce Captain Jeffrey Haney from Clarkland Michigan that they believe him to have perished in the crash.  Search and rescue operations have ceased, though there is still little information available about the mystery behind the craft’s innitial disappearance or subsequent crash.  The mystery, however, has been partially solved with a tragic end.