As a defense-based agency otherwise tasked with monitoring and protecting national airspace, aircraft and other objects in space, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has also used their satellites, high-powered radar, jet fighters and special “Santa cameras” to track his progress around the world – much to the delight (and anticipation) of kids everywhere.
For over 60 years, families across the world have tuned into NORAD as the reindeer-toting Santa Claus performs his annual present drop, also made possible with the help of hundreds of volunteers who answer the phone calls and emails of children eager to know the play-by-play of his whereabouts.
Aside from calling in to the hotline (1-877-Hi-NORAD) or going to the website (www.noradsanta.org), tech-savvy parents and kids can also track Santa via “NORAD Tracks Santa” smartphone apps (Android/iOS), as well as through Amazon Alexa, Cortana and OnStar.
NORAD’s Santa Tracking began wholly as an accident, when an ad misprint urging children to call St. Nick’s “private phone” led a boy to misdial the number and accidentally ring the premises of Colonel Harry Shoup – an officer on duty at NORAD’s predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD). Deciding against telling the child he had the wrong number, the Colonel played along and “offered useful information” on Santa’s progress from the North Pole. And rather than having the ad pulled, a Christmas tradition was born.
The “livestream” video of Santa’s final pre-flight preparations will be available starting this Sunday on December 24 at 2:01 AM (Eastern Time). After 6 a.m. Eastern Time, volunteers at NORAD’s Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs will be on hand to reveal Santa’s location through the following:
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