Thursday, December 22, 2005

NORAD Tracks Santa

Good Morning! This will be my last post until next Tuesday. My beautiful Polynesian Princess and I leave for Austin in the morning and then off to Dallas on Christmas morning. We will cover many miles, but it is all well worth to spend the Holidays with our families. Please have a wonderful and safe Holiday and remember it is better to give than to receive.

The GIS User Blog pointed out a great site the other day. NORAD, the bi-national U.S.-Canadian military organization responsible for the aerospace defense of the United States and Canada, has been tracking Santa for 50 years. The tradition began after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. store advertisement for children to call Santa on a special "hotline" included an inadvertently misprinted telephone number. Instead of Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first "Santa" call on Christmas Eve 1955. Realizing what had happened, Colonel Shoup had his staff check radar data to see if there was any indication of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Indeed there were signs of Santa and children who called were given an update on Santa's position. Thus, the tradition was born. So, how do they do it? It all starts with the NORAD radar system called the North Warning System. This powerful radar system has 47 installations strung across Canada's North and Alaska. NORAD makes a point of checking the radar closely for indications of Santa Claus leaving the North Pole on Christmas Eve. This Christmas Eve watch NORAD track Santa at Have a Merry Christmas!!!

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