Plenty of chatter questioning whether SC Gov. Mark Sanford really was on the Appalachian Trail during his absence from Columbia/duty.

TPM has been on this story all day, sounding very skeptical about Sanford's true whereabouts.

Channel 4 in Greenville:

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.

When a high-profile person's behavior seems kind of nutty, it's easy to start believing there must be some other, deeper, weirder truth. That's why there's been all this chatter about Sanford's last known cell-phone signal -- as if there were a big, official manhunt on for him.

But his staff is "sticking" by their story that he'll be back at work tomorrow. And his wife remains unconcerned.

So it doesn't strike me as odd that he was seen at the Atlanta airport -- which is not, in fact, such a long "ways from the Appalachian Trail." Especially if you're catching a flight home (albeit to the next state).

It's obvious that Sanford is going to have some 'splaining to do. No doubt this whole episode hurts or sinks his already unlikely presidential hopes.

It's not clear to me, though, that's there something more sinister about where he was than the Appalachian Trail. I guess we'll find out soon enough.