Four high-tech systems are tracking Santa, according to a defense agency of the United States and Canada, and you can follow him too.
Now just why does a military group with a serious name like North American Aerospace Defense Command track Santa and take notes on just where he is and what he is up to?
This doesn't make sense.
Well, it started with a bad phone number that had kids calling an important colonel who was trying to defend his country—and we'll get to that. But first, ta da:
Now back to why the military is using—
- fighter jets, and
- Santa cams
—to track Santa in the first place. Any kid can tell you, the man who says, "ho, ho, ho" is no danger to anyone. He may eat one too many a cookie, especially if they're chocolate chip, but that's no crime. So why is the military watching him?
Well, it all started with a wrong number. But first let's go back in time a bit...
For more than 50 years NORAD and a group that came before it, CONAD, have tracked Santa on Christmas Eve.
Here is NORAD's scoop on why (with a little commentary from the peanut gallery ... that would be me.)
The adventure began in 1955 after Sears put the wrong number for Santa Claus into an advertisement. Well, lo and behold, all the kids who called trying to talk to Santa got none other than the Commander-in-Chief of another group with a very serious sounding long name (told you I'd have comments) —the Continental Air Defense Command.
Despite having a title that makes you want to salute and stand at attention, CONAD's chief, Col. Harry Shoup, knew just how important these children's calls were.
And Santa himself will tell you only the kids who grew up getting a bunch of coal in their stockings have forgotten the importance of children's wishes.
Col. Shoup was no coal-getter, because he got on it right away. Within no time his staff was checking CONAD's powerful radar equipment to give children everywhere information on exactly where Santa was and when he was there.
Since that time, the United States and Canada got together and that's how CONAD became NORAD. And the men, women, family and friends of NORAD decided to keep up the Christmas mission that Col. Shoup started. They pitch in to take phone calls and emails from children all around the world.
This group didn't get its important sounding name for nothing, because it has gone and figured out how to get kids information on Santa even faster, and it's using the Internet to do it.
So as soon as all NORAD's high-tech equipment detects Santa taking off from the North Pole on Dec. 24, children can track Santa online and get the latest info right quick.