Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Tracking Santa... NORAD style

While the North American Aerospace Defense Command is best known scanning for incoming nukes (and making umpteen LPs, featured on this blog), it also has a special mission each Christmas season - tracking Santa Claus, deep from the depths of Cheyenne Mountain, in Colorado Springs.

 The story goes that, back in 1948, the United States Air Force issued a communique claiming that an "early warning radar net to the north" had detected one unidentified sleigh, powered by eight reindeer. The news wire service picked up the report, and ran it as an ongoing news story. Supposedly, seven years later, a child, trying to reach Santa Claus on a hotline number provided in a Sears advertisement, misdialed the number and instead called NORAD (then known as the Continental Air Defense Command). The government, seizing on a public relations opportunity, made tracking Santa, an annual tradition. When the North American Air Defense Command was renamed the North American Aerospace Defense Command in 1981, it began publicizing a hotline number for the general public to call to get updates on Santa Claus's progress.

NORAD now has a very cool on-line tracking site, 
where you can see where Santa is, at any given time - HERE

Dug through my Colorado record stash and found a great copy of an actual 1968 Santa tracking 45. 

Found this 1971 NORAD Tracks Santa LP (Century 71138), earlier this year. The album, voiced by Air Force Master Sgt. Lee Mosley, also includes an entire side of songs, performed by the NORAD Commanders musical group, and a recitation of the story "The Littlest Angel," performed by Major Derek Stannard, Canadian Forces.

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