Digital News Report- It’s the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature is stirring… except for your child who is glued to the computer screen tracking Santa across the planet. NORAD, as it has done since 1955, will track Santa as he makes his annual trip around the world delivering toys to all the good girls and boys.
According to their official website, they use “four high-tech systems to track Santa – radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets.” It also says that, “amazingly, Rudolph’s bright red nose gives off an infrared signature which allow our satellites to detect Rudolph and Santa.” The website also has a Santa FAQ, which lists things such as his Sleigh’s technical stats.
The tradition began by mistake when a Colorado Springs-based Sears store ran an advertisement encouraging children to call Santa Claus on a special telephone hotline. Due to a printing error, the phone number that was printed was the hotline for the Director of Operations at the Continental Air Defense (CONAD), which was NORAD’s predecessor.
The person who first answered a call to Santa was Colonel Harry Shoup on Christmas Eve in 1955. On the other end of the line was a six-year old boy who began reciting his Christmas list. Shoup didn’t understand what was happening, but after receiving a second call, he quickly realized the mistake. He then instructed his staff to give Santa’s position to any child who called in.
Since then, NORAD has been committed to updating children on Santa’s whereabouts during his flight. Google Earth has also been utilized to track Santa Claus in 3-D.