Where's Santa?

The North American Aerospace Defense Command will be keeping him in their sights


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  • The NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center at Peterson Air Force Base (Facebook photo)



A tradition is born

On Dec. 24, 1955, a call was made to the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. This call was not from the president or a general. It was from a child in Colorado Springs who was following the directions in an advertisement printed in the local paper. The youngster wanted to know the whereabouts of Santa Claus.
The ad said “Hey, Kiddies! Call me direct and be sure and dial the correct number.” However, the number was printed incorrectly in the advertisement and rang into the CONAD operations center.
On duty that night was Colonel Harry Shoup, who has come to be known as the “Santa Colonel.” Colonel Shoup received numerous calls that night and, rather than hanging up, he had his operators find the location of Santa Claus and report it to every child who phoned in that night.
Thus began a tradition carried on by NORAD when it was formed in 1958.


On a normal day, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) monitors the airspace over North America for potential threats. But on Christmas Eve, NORAD will use its satellites, high-powered radars, and jet fighters to track Santa Claus as he makes his Yuletide journey around the world.

So, where is #Santa? Visit noradsanta.org to start tracking. The site also includes Christmas songs, games, and an interactive exploration of Santa's village.

Call NORAD at 1-877-446-6723 or email noradtrackssanta@outlook.com to talk to a live #NORAD Santa tracker.

Every year 1,500 volunteers staff telephones and computers to answer calls and e-mails from children (and adults) from around the world. Live updates are provided through the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site (in seven languages), over telephone lines, and by e-mail to keep curious children and their families informed about Santa’s whereabouts and if it’s time to get to bed.

The NORAD Tracks Santa Web Site receives nearly nine million unique visitors from more than 200 countries and territories around the world every Christmas Eve. Volunteers receive more than 140,000 calls to the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline from children around the globe.

This year, children and the young-at-heart are able to track Santa through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. To follow his progress on any of these Web sites, type in @noradsanta into the search engine and start tracking.





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