Mark Sanford spotted at Hartsfield-Jackson boarding plane, TV station in S.C. now says

The story of the disappeared Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina gets stranger by the hour.

The Associated Press is reporting that Sanford will cut short a secretive Appalachian Trail hike and return to work Wednesday after revelations he’d been gone for four days with no contact with his staff, wife or state leaders.

But the following was posted a few minutes ago by WYFF News 4, a TV station in Greenville, S.C.:

On Tuesday, sources told News 4’s Nigel Robertson that a state vehicle is missing and was tracked down, not to the Appalachian Trail, but to the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta.

Sources told Robertson that a federal agent spotted Sanford in the airport boarding a plane. Robertson was told that the governor was not accompanied by security detail.

Sanford has been out of reach for more than four days, including Father’s Day.

Sawyer has emphasized that the governor was hiking on the Appalachian Trail and that it wasn’t something the staff or Jenny Sanford were concerned about.

But sources told WYFF News 4 that the federal agent who spotted Sanford saw him at the Atlanta airport, which is about 80 miles from the start of the trail.

WYFF News 4 has not yet confirmed where the plane was going or how the governor got to the airport, but it is clear there are two very different stories.

News 4 called the governor’s office, and was told again by staffers that they stand by their original statement that the governor is hiking the Appalachian Trail. They did not want to comment on this story.

It is possible, of course, that Sanford was headed for the other end of the Appalachian Trail.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

63 comments Add your comment

Amy Morton

June 23rd, 2009
5:43 pm

I am officially no longer making fun of Gov. Sanford. This is clearly a disturbed man in need of help. Reminds me of the Runaway bride story, without the bride.Or not. Who knows at this point.

DW

June 23rd, 2009
6:03 pm

So much for running for President in 2012…

JB

June 23rd, 2009
6:30 pm

It’s also possible that it wasn’t him. Geez, Jim! Are you gossip columnist now?

David

June 23rd, 2009
6:30 pm

He was just flying to Iran to help start democracy there

Ashley

June 23rd, 2009
6:33 pm

I’m waiting until he shaves his hair, a la Britney Spears.

CHARLIE

June 23rd, 2009
6:40 pm

This is rich!

John Coltraine

June 23rd, 2009
6:41 pm

I bet he hooked up with that Atlanta stripper that is into bondage and captivity–maybe the pizza man will “rescue” the Gov from her.

KILJOY

June 23rd, 2009
6:41 pm

Sanford will announce his switch to the Democratic Party tomorrow. He was on a spiritual journey and has now seen the light. He’s spent the better part of 4 days with Elvis and Johnny Cash who helped find seek his inner little boy.

hill335

June 23rd, 2009
6:42 pm

Time magazine selected Sanford as one of the nation’s worst governors. He is known in his home state as a petulant, egotistical man who is determined to get his way, regardless of the consequences to those who are stepped on and shoved aside. Perhaps he is sulking in the wake of his defeat by the Obama administration in regard to the stimulus money for South Carolina. It’s clear that the citizens of his state deserve a better leader.

Mark Johnson

June 23rd, 2009
6:42 pm

He was offered a compass, but he refused it…

John Henry Nations

June 23rd, 2009
6:43 pm

I saw him in a mens room toilet stall on Concourse B tapping his shoe under the divider wall. That Gov is a riot!!

tom gordon

June 23rd, 2009
6:45 pm

Enter your comments here

tom gordon

June 23rd, 2009
6:45 pm

Hmmmmm- I wonder if he knows John Edwards.

CHARLIE

June 23rd, 2009
6:46 pm

Enter your comments here

Proud To Be An Atlantan

June 23rd, 2009
6:55 pm

Why does the headline tag only refer to the Atlanta Airport as “Hartsfield” as opposed to “Hartsfield-Jackson”? It is incorrect and should be changed to avoid perceptions of racism so rampant in MSM…

Dr Soul

June 23rd, 2009
7:01 pm

This is news????? sounds like someone was ‘hard up’ for a story.. I doubt that he is totally missing…I am sure that there is some string of communication… some other pol needs some press really bad..!!!
and, I would bet the wife knows where he is, too… actually, it is really nobody’s business where he is or why..!!! don’t come down on him unless there is an emergency and he does not show..!!!
This is toooo funny to watch all the nuts go wild over nothing..!!!

jdawg

June 23rd, 2009
7:03 pm

Does this really matter….who cares….let’s talk football…even the ole ball coach from columbia would have been a better topic…give me a break…jdawg

John Henry Nations

June 23rd, 2009
7:05 pm

I also spotted him at the Hot Dog Construction Company on Concourse A having a “footlong”. A few minutes later he was waiting in line at Wolgang Pucks place. The Gov gets around.

OldTimer

June 23rd, 2009
7:16 pm

Come on folks, he’s banging some old broad. How much clearer can it be. He’s clearing his head alright.

[...] even on Father’s Day. But the State owned vehicle is parked in the Hartsfield airport, from AJC : On Tuesday, sources told News 4’s Nigel Robertson that a state vehicle is missing and was [...]

reo

June 23rd, 2009
7:29 pm

To proud to be an atlanta
You must be kidding. Atlanta has been ‘mayored’ by blacks for decades and we have a semi-black president. Get over it pal.

d conner

June 23rd, 2009
7:30 pm

Last time I checked, the AT was over 2,000 miles long, passing through 14 states. The quickest way to get “there” for more than 75% of the AT is via air….duhhhh….

G. Tampa Bedwetter

June 23rd, 2009
7:43 pm

You are right Jackson is a racist.

Nash TENN

June 23rd, 2009
7:44 pm

He & Rush were out camping together. They later picked up Taggert.

Nuf sed

June 23rd, 2009
7:56 pm

Him and John Edwards spent father’s day together in Piedmont Park.

Curious

June 23rd, 2009
8:00 pm

WYFF fails to identify the federal agent. Sounds like someone from TSA. If the report is true, there must be a ticket or a paper trail. Why not FOI South Carolina and discover the truth.

Artie

June 23rd, 2009
8:03 pm

Another GOP flake!!! The GOP has NO chance in 2012. Maybe they should start thinking about “deer-in-the-headlights” Jindal again.

Fulton Resident

June 23rd, 2009
8:05 pm

Maybe he has just always wanted to hike the AT, (and in peace) and knew if everyone knew he would be bothered.

Make sense. Bad governor or not, give the guy a break. He hasn’t “checked in” in 4 days. Big deal.

Jason

June 23rd, 2009
8:10 pm

d conner, be that as it may, Columbia has an airport. Why drive four hours to Georgia and through Atlanta traffic in a state vehicle to get to our airport when he could have had one of his staffers drop him off at the airport in his home city? Columbia doesn’t have connections to as many places on the train as Atlanta does but it has plenty of flights to Atlanta. Driving here from Columbia makes no sense.

Dave

June 23rd, 2009
8:13 pm

Amy Morton – and I will no longer talk about you hanging around on stewart ave. trying to make a little extra cash…

Edie

June 23rd, 2009
8:17 pm

Hiking in this weather, you got to be kidding?

John Henry Nations

June 23rd, 2009
8:24 pm

EVERYONE knows that the mens room hookups are much better at ATL than at the Columbia airport.

Tonto

June 23rd, 2009
8:30 pm

You morons really need to chill. A grown man tells his wife that he is going to take a break from the fishbowl. He takes off and doesn’t tell her “exactly” where he will be so she can plausibly deny his whereabouts. And he tells his chief of staff to let the Lt. Gov. know in the highly unlikely event that he is needed to shield the state capital from a fast approaching comet.Some goofball politician and some pantywaiste reporter raise a totally unneeded red flag. NBC(Once known as the Obama campaign)thinks this is a scandal. And fartsmellers have an orgasm with the story.
Mark Sanford is the only sane man in (and out of) sight.

Think about it, morons, what is the WORST thing that could happen??
If a state governor is needed THAT bad, well then it’s probably too late anyway.

Base

June 23rd, 2009
8:35 pm

You can tell from refusal by Mad Mike of $700 million in ed funds that he is punishing his citizens. His disappearance is just another stunt by a wacko politician.

B.J.

June 23rd, 2009
8:38 pm

It’s pretty pathetic that we are so taken aback when a public figure wants to leave the public for awhile. Let the guy take a break. WTF? I read enough Hardy Boys mysteries to figure out the following: he drove down to North Georgia to hike; a few days later, he called his office to check in, and they told him the whole country was looking for him; rather than drive back to Columbia, he grabbed a plane in ATL. Some junior staffer will come back to get the car from Hartsfield. Why do we make sure a big f-in’ deal about this?

Kimberley in California

June 23rd, 2009
8:46 pm

If he’s mentally ill, it will come out soon enough.

If he’s having an affair (of any kind), it will come out soon enough.

Why were Feds watching him at the airport?

Something ain’t right here.

Famuan

June 23rd, 2009
9:04 pm

Wow….Tonto and BJ are in some SERIOUS denial. LMAO

The Snark

June 23rd, 2009
9:29 pm

What is the bug deal. Obama went AWOL for a week in 1999. He wasn’t hiking he was having a coke induced gay sex affair with Larry Sinclair.

Boots

June 23rd, 2009
9:36 pm

The ol’ adage of “if you can’t stand the heat, get outta the kitchen” applies here. Gov. Sanford is radically ideological and has been posturing for a run for the White House in 2012 by positioning himself just to the right of Atilla the Hun.

When the state legislature over-ruled his veteos of stimulus money he just went bonkers. I’m sorry he feels he has to escape a position he ran for on two different ocasions, but I have no sympathy for his political positions — positions that deny the unemployed extended benefits and would deny the state the funds to repair its pitiful roads and maybe the bridge that has been closed because its unsafe near a house I own in SC.

This erratic behavior has torpedoed Sanford’s political career because he’s provided every political opponent a catch-phrase: “Take a hike, Mark.” Or, “take another hike, Mark.”

The Republican party has been radicalized and marginalized. Get over it!

John Henry Nations

June 23rd, 2009
9:48 pm

Fathers Day scene at the Sanford beach house:

“Ma, Ma where’s my Pa?”
“Taking a hike, ha, ha, ha!!!”

Double rations of grog to anyone who knows the history of that little diddy and what was the original version.

three jack

June 23rd, 2009
10:14 pm

omg, a politician decides to take a few days out of the limelight…kudos to the governor. maybe if more of our elected officials went out on their own in the real world, they would understand why so many citizens are fed up with them.

it’s a shame this is a negative news story. if obama did the same thing, the headline would be something like, ‘President decides to get back to nature, the world will surely be a better place as a result.’

Nikole

June 23rd, 2009
10:45 pm

@ three jack—-If the President chose to do this you can be assured that Mrs. Obama would know all about it.

Chris - Dacula

June 23rd, 2009
10:53 pm

STOP… STOP… STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can see that the media is desperately trying to turn the governor into John Edwards. Has it occured to anyone that possibly the governor hiked a section of the AT that was too far to drive to?

Jason

June 23rd, 2009
11:02 pm

BJ, how would flying out of Atlanta save any time? It’s a four and half hour drive from Springer Mountain to Columbia. From the mountain to Atlanta, is two and a half hour drive, possibly more with traffic. Add in time to clear security and deal with the airport hassles, before even boarding the plane he could have already driven back to Columbia.

There might be a perfectly rational explanation for his activities over the past few days but the ones being given aren’t. I don’t see anything wrong with him getting away for a couple of days as long as he turns legal authority over to the lt. gov. while he is gone. This isn’t the 1800s, it’s the twenty first century. The chief executive of a state should be accessable at all times because there is no one to fill in his shoes if he isn’t. It’s just one of the responsibilities of the job.

smarty

June 23rd, 2009
11:22 pm

It looks like he didn’t have the new Iphone G3S w/ the new compass on it.

herbK

June 23rd, 2009
11:45 pm

This bozo has a real emotional/mental problem. Ok, fine, but he represents a STATE, not working as a CS rep for some 2 bit company. Either he resigns and fixes or works to fix his issues, or he is impeached.

Sounds Like

June 24th, 2009
8:18 am

the old governor is trying to make sure he isn’t another Gov. John Ensign. Watch – I betcha it comes out that he, too, has a mistress! Ditching his security detail, trying to make sure there is no evidence. Well, Gov. Sanford, I have a saying and it is – a secret is only a secret if you’re the ONLY one that know it.

Curly Girly-man

June 24th, 2009
8:22 am

I saw him at the airport. In the mens room on Concourse A. Where we GOPers like to “hang out”, if you get my drift.

It’s no big deal. ;->~

Curly Girly-man

June 24th, 2009
8:32 am

The last time I saw Sanford was in the restroom at Concourse A, with his pants down around his ankles.

He looked happy to me.

Bigboi

June 24th, 2009
8:40 am

i wonder why you never hear about this story on Fox News?