It uses dozens of installations across Canada’s North and Alaska to look for signs of Santa Claus leaving the North Pole every holiday season
Published 29.11.21, 02:31 AM
North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD will beam up its Santa Claus-tracking website on December 1 while tracking the movement of the man in red suit will begin on December 24.
Tracking Santa has become a tradition for NORAD since 1955. It started at Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), the early iteration of NORAD. Colonel Harry Shoup was on duty when the “red phone” rang. This was the phone that delivered bad or very important news during the Cold War. Shoup answered but at the other end was a small boy asking “Is this Santa Claus?” When Shoup realised it wasn’t a prank call, his stern voice gave way to “ho ho ho”. Later, he got to the bottom of the mystery: there was a typo in a newspaper advertisement placed by Sears. The phone number that was provided was ME 2-6681 or that of the very important “red phone”. And thus started a Christmas tradition.
NORAD now, of course, has a website dedicated to tracking Santa Claus. The organisation uses radar and satellites to look out for man-made objects in the sky, like aircraft, space vehicles or Santa. It uses dozens of installations across Canada’s North and Alaska to look for signs of Santa Claus leaving the North Pole every holiday season.
The Santa-tracking website has in the past said that the team uses a combination of radar, satellites that “detect Rudolph’s bright red nose with no problem” and jet fighters.
Google also a Santa-tracking system, which can be accessed at santatracker.google.com and it comes with games and activities. Google’s effort is more colourful and fun-packed.