Meet the South Carolina man who went viral describing sound of F-35 fighter jet crash

22 September 2023

WILLIAMSBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A man in Williamsburg County is a viral sensation after describing the sound of the F-35 jet crash.

News13 spoke with “fighter jet guy” Randolph White on Thursday. He said he’s been busy since the crash.

Downed fighter jet found in wooded area of South Carolina; debris field is extensive

White, 71, already had some fans from New York when News13 arrived. They said they came to congratulate him and to get a picture.

“They said, ‘you’re famous,'” White said. “I said, ‘famous? What you mean, famous?’ He said, ‘your famous scream.'”

White said he was in the bathroom shaving when he heard the jet crash on Sunday.

“I heard a screeching. Between a screech and a whistle. I said, what in the world is this?” he said. And I heard a boom! Then my whole house shook.”

That scream would be shared on TMZ, the New York Post and Daily Mail. White said his daughter, who lives in Washington D.C., saw the video.

‘I heard a boom!’: Man said F-35 jet shook home before crashing in South Carolina

But that was just the beginning.

“And my wife, she showed me where somebody [used artificial intelligence] or whatever, and put my voice with James Brown picture and the scream and everything,” White said.

White grew up two miles down the road from where he lives now. He said he and his wife have lived in their current home for nearly 30 years.

He said his newfound fame even prompted the community to ask him to be in the Hemingway Homecoming Parade.

He said the fame isn’t what matters to him, though.

“It’s fun. But back to the serious thing is, hey, I’m not trying to be famous,” White said. “I’m satisfied in my own skin. I know who I am and what I am.”

When News13 got to his house, he was going on his usual exercise walk with a 40-pound weighted vest. He also wore it in his viral interview.

“As far as I’m concerned, I have it all right now,” he said. “Number one — health and strength. Number two, [I’m] relatively sane.”

White, a lover of old cars and Washington football said he prefers to stay home and exercise. He’s been a runner since he ran track in high school.

“People don’t realize when you lose your health, I don’t care what else you own, the most important thing is gone,” he said. “You could be a billionaire, but if your health is no good, the money is no good.”

White said the biggest blessing of the entire experience is living to walk another day.

“You can — we can sit here now. It was a great possibility I wouldn’t be here now,” he said. “Because that plane was just that close to my house.”

White said he hopes to find out what caused the crash and ultimately, his recent fame.

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