WASHINGTON (CNN) - What seemed to be a routine evening waiting for Barack Obama aboard his campaign plane turned into anything but when the cabin doors closed and the passengers were informed the aircraft would be taking off immediately - without the candidate.
The first sign something was amiss on the Thursday flight came when the pilot told those aboard - about 25 members of the media, a smaller group of Obama staffers and only a handful of Secret Service agents - that everyone was on board and that the plane would be departing for Obama's hometown of Chicago, Illinois, momentarily.
The press soon noticed there were far too few people aboard for a standard campaign flight. Something was different. It's fair to say that the term "everyone" was used a bit loosely - especially when the presumptive nominee appeared to be missing.