Summary: Message claims that an attached video shows an F-35 Fighter Jet flipping upside down during a vertical takeoff mishap and then taking off safely after the highly skilled Navy pilot regained control of the aircraft (Full commentary below).
Example:(Submitted, June 2009)
Subject: F-35 in Harrowing Ordeal
This is how a supremely well-trained US Navy pilot, ice running in his veins instead of blood, fully regains control of his $70 million F-35 fighter jet, after a problem-filled vertical take-off attempt.
Watch as the rear vertical thruster fires to save the pilot & aircraft.
This video, purportedly depicting a real F-35 jet recovering from a potentially disastrous flip during a vertical takeoff, circulates via email and is also popular viewing on video website YouTube. Messages that accompany the video claim that it is real footage of an F-35 takeoff mishap on board an aircraft carrier and praise the amazing skill of the Navy pilot who managed to save himself and the aircraft after the potentially fatal flip.
However, the video does not show a real aircraft and does not depict an actual incident. In fact, the video is a capture from the popular video game "Battlefield 2". The rather unrealistic depiction of the aircraft carrier - not a single crew member is in view on deck - is one indicator that the video does not depict an actual incident. Contrast the following shot of a real aircraft carrier with the sparse view shown in the video:
Moreover, a close look at the bottom portion of the video reveals the small status bars that are present in the game. These bars provide the gamer with information such as health status and remaining ammunition. The following screenshot taken from the game shows one of these status bars in more detail:
The status bar in the above screenshot is clearly very similar to the one shown at the bottom left of the video.
And, in fact, YouTube hosts many other videos uploaded by gamers who have attempted similar F-35 antics in Battlefield 2. The two videos included below show similar, if not quite so slick, F-35 Battlefield 2 flips: