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Sanford to Minneapolis? (Nope — Argentina?)

EDIT: Sanford told the The State newspaper he was in Buenos Aires, Argentina. FWIW, a flight did arrive at Hartsfield from Buenos Aries at 5:43 AM this morning.

Original Post: Passing along information from anonymous Wikipedia sources really isn’t the best way to build one’s reputation. But I noticed that the Wiki for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, whose whereabouts have been unknown for six days, now contains the following proviso:

A state vehicle, however, was missing and was tracked down, not to the Appalachian Trail, but to the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta. A federal agent spotted Sanford in the airport boarding a plane to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

A report by WYFF-TV in Greenvile, SC claimed earlier today that Sanford had been cited boarding a plane at Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport. Nowhere, however, in the mainstream (or the non-mainstream) media has the destination of the flight been reported, and there is no citation in the Wikipedia entry. The comment was added by someone at the IP address, which traces back to a Cox Communications server in Atlanta. This is either someone with first-hand knowledge of the situation (a fellow passenger, a flight attendant, a federal marshal) or someone trying to play a prank. Ordinarily, the probabilities would weight heavily toward the latter possibility, but since the entry comes from Atlanta and Atlanta specifically the former seems distinctly possible.

Obviously, if Sanford was in Minneapolis, he was nowhere near the Appalachian Trail, as his aides claimed earlier today. But I sure hope the guy is OK. The first association I make with Minneapolis in this context is “Mayo Clinic”. If Sanford went to get some kind of medical condition checked out, and it proved to be more serious than expected, that might explain the tendency of those around him to obfuscate on about his whereabouts.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.