The Internet, which enjoys its conspiracy theories, is ablaze with speculation that an Aeroflot flight between Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport and Havana, Cuba, might be carrying a particularly interesting passenger: Edward Snowden. It's an idea is based on the thinnest of threads: a shift in the flight's normal route away from the United States—a shift that isn't that unusual, even for this week.
Today, the route is distinctly different:
The idea is this: An Aeroflot plane with Snowden aboard might do everything it could to avoid U.S. airspace. Despite Obama's pledge not to scramble planes to catch the NSA leaker, it does seem likely that planes would avoid tempting fate.
But today's path isn't that different from ones in the past. The same flight went this route on Monday:
Closer to shore, but still away from the United States.
There are any number of reasons that the plane might move further offshore. For example, there is a line of thunderstorms on the Eastern seaboard right now, which might bear avoidance. Or perhaps it's related to the remnants of Tropical Storm Chantal, which "EXTENDS FROM HISPANIOLA NORTHWARD TO THE SOUTHEASTERN AND CENTRAL BAHAMAS AND THE ADJACENT ATLANTIC," in the all-caps words of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That path, in case it's not clear, lies just to the west of the Aeroflot flight.