NORAD (US - Canada) tracks Santa's travels for the 55th year

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#1 Posted by topsemag55 (19063 posts) -

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Lots of military secrets are hidden behind the gleaming walls of NORAD'S headquarters building, including this one: Just how do they get Santa's flight path onto their computer screens every Christmas Eve?

Tracking Santa's travels is a celebrated tradition at the North American Aerospace Command, and it unfolds Friday for the 55th year.

NORAD insiders drop hints about how they do it — "ultra-cool, high-tech, high-speed digital cameras," radar, satellites and Canadian Forces fighter jets. They happily release a flurry of facts: They answered 74,000 phone calls and 3,500 e-mails from around the world last year, all asking for Santa's location.

But any inquiry into the technological particulars is met with a polite rebuff and a cryptic explanation involving the magic of Christmas.

It began in 1955 when a Colorado Springs newspaper ad invited kids to talk to Santa on a hotline. The phone number had a typo, and dozens of kids wound up dialing the Continental Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs, the predecessor to NORAD.

The officers on duty played along and began passing along reports on Santa's progress. It's now a cherished ritual at NORAD.

Story here.

More than 13 million unique visitors went to the website last December. NORAD Tracks Santa has more than 470,000 "likes" on Facebook this year and more than 30,000 followers on Twitter.

Parents send emails thanking NORAD, as the volunteers encourage the children to go to bed early for Santa.:lol:

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#2 Posted by Sandvichman (4006 posts) -

That sounds nice.

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#3 Posted by chaplainDMK (7004 posts) -
Wow, thats so awsome on their part :P
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#4 Posted by demonic_85 (1395 posts) -

lol wtf are they tracking? He doesnt exist..... anymore.

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#5 Posted by Hemaneitor (185 posts) -

That must be really difficult

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#6 Posted by SirWander (5176 posts) -

That's pretty awesome on their part. And to think, all of that started over a typo.

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#7 Posted by kraken2109 (13271 posts) -

Saw this earlier. Awesome stuff.

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#8 Posted by Domobomb (1914 posts) -

Canadian fighter jets? oh yeah, that'll be good.

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#9 Posted by -Big_Red- (7230 posts) -

lol wtf are they tracking? He doesnt exist..... anymore.

demonic_85
:|.... Santa is dead....? GOOD..... GOOD.....
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#10 Posted by X360PS3AMD05 (36303 posts) -
No wonder it never worked on us, we stay up on Christmas Eve and open presents at midnight...
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#11 Posted by shoot-first (9788 posts) -

Is that really Santa?

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#12 Posted by PoeticTheory (673 posts) -
That sounds to be pretty sweet.
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#13 Posted by MushroomWig (11626 posts) -
What's the point? =/
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#14 Posted by topsemag55 (19063 posts) -

What's the point? =/MushroomWig

You mean you really don't know, or is it sarcasm?:P

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#15 Posted by MushroomWig (11626 posts) -

[QUOTE="MushroomWig"]What's the point? =/topsemag55

You mean you really don't know, or is it sarcasm?:P

It just seems like a waste of tax payers money, is all.
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#16 Posted by topsemag55 (19063 posts) -

[QUOTE="topsemag55"]

[QUOTE="MushroomWig"]What's the point? =/MushroomWig

You mean you really don't know, or is it sarcasm?:P

It just seems like a waste of tax payers money, is all.

How is it wasting tax dollars when everything is done by volunteers?:?

Volunteers = no pay.

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#17 Posted by Lab392 (6228 posts) -

Is that really Santa?

shoot-first

Yes.

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#18 Posted by MushroomWig (11626 posts) -

[QUOTE="MushroomWig"][QUOTE="topsemag55"]

You mean you really don't know, or is it sarcasm?:P

topsemag55

It just seems like a waste of tax payers money, is all.

How is it wasting tax dollars when everything is done by volunteers?:?

Volunteers = no pay.

Nothing is free! xD
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#19 Posted by bbkkristian (14971 posts) -
Wait, does this mean Santa is REAL??? :shock:
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#20 Posted by Lab392 (6228 posts) -

Wait, does this mean Santa is REAL??? :shock:bbkkristian

Yes.

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#21 Posted by topsemag55 (19063 posts) -

Wait, does this mean Santa is REAL??? :shock:bbkkristian

I have been inside NORAD - it's underneath Cheyenne Mountain (solid granite, btw), and I've worked the radars that send it supporting data.

Believe me, if it's moving, we're tracking it - we even have equipment that displays the movement of the distant stars behind the Earth.

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#22 Posted by MushroomWig (11626 posts) -

[QUOTE="bbkkristian"]Wait, does this mean Santa is REAL??? :shock:Lab392

Yes.

You know the drill, pictures..now! :P
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#23 Posted by bbkkristian (14971 posts) -

[QUOTE="bbkkristian"]Wait, does this mean Santa is REAL??? :shock:Lab392

Yes.

No one make him angry otherwise he will make this VVV

robot santa

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#24 Posted by Lab392 (6228 posts) -

[QUOTE="Lab392"]

[QUOTE="bbkkristian"]Wait, does this mean Santa is REAL??? :shock:MushroomWig

Yes.

You know the drill, pictures..now! :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmAyI0X5nQ

Video proof.

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#25 Posted by topsemag55 (19063 posts) -

Wait, does this mean Santa is REAL??? :shock:bbkkristian

Alaskan NORAD Region tracks Santa.

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#26 Posted by MushroomWig (11626 posts) -

[QUOTE="MushroomWig"][QUOTE="Lab392"]

Yes.

Lab392

You know the drill, pictures..now! :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmAyI0X5nQ

Video proof.

My mind is blown!
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#27 Posted by munchlax99 (11536 posts) -

awesome :D

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#28 Posted by bluezy (29297 posts) -
I always got a kick out of following that as a kid.
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#29 Posted by airshocker (31700 posts) -

I love my branch.

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#30 Posted by redstorm72 (4646 posts) -

[QUOTE="topsemag55"]

[QUOTE="MushroomWig"]What's the point? =/MushroomWig

You mean you really don't know, or is it sarcasm?:P

It just seems like a waste of tax payers money, is all.

It seems somebody is lacking in Christmas spirit :P

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#31 Posted by MushroomWig (11626 posts) -

[QUOTE="MushroomWig"][QUOTE="topsemag55"]

You mean you really don't know, or is it sarcasm?:P

redstorm72

It just seems like a waste of tax payers money, is all.

It seems somebody is lacking in Christmas spirit :P

You're right! Can I borrow some of yours?
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#32 Posted by worlock77 (22552 posts) -

[QUOTE="topsemag55"]

[QUOTE="MushroomWig"]What's the point? =/MushroomWig

You mean you really don't know, or is it sarcasm?:P

It just seems like a waste of tax payers money, is all.

Christ, I was just about to post 'in b4 "waste of taxpayer money".

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#33 Posted by redstorm72 (4646 posts) -

[QUOTE="redstorm72"]

[QUOTE="MushroomWig"] It just seems like a waste of tax payers money, is all.MushroomWig

It seems somebody is lacking in Christmas spirit :P

You're right! Can I borrow some of yours?

No way! I won't share any of my Christmas spirit, I've got to hoard it all for myself :P

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#34 Posted by RobboElRobbo (13668 posts) -

Santa died like 4 or 5 years ago

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#35 Posted by topsemag55 (19063 posts) -

[QUOTE="MushroomWig"][QUOTE="topsemag55"]

You mean you really don't know, or is it sarcasm?:P

worlock77

It just seems like a waste of tax payers money, is all.

Christ, I was just about to post 'in b4 "waste of taxpayer money".

The left can't say that - Michelle Obama pitched in and took calls for 40 minutes.:P

It's volunteer work, costs nothing. Even Google, Verizon, and Air Canada chips in to help.

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#36 Posted by Razor-Lazor (12763 posts) -
I learned about that when I still believed. It's really cool, and definitely confirmed my belief (at the time), so it is a good thing they're doing.
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#37 Posted by dercoo (12555 posts) -

I find the story of how this all started hilarious.

A magazine set up a call the north phone line, but misprinted the #. The misprinted # lead to NORAD getting lots of "odd" calls, and they just went with it.

And thus a Christmas tradition was born.