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Wednesday, December 15, 2004


NORAD Tracks Santa Thoughout Christmas Eve

Before we get too serious, here is a little Santa Blogging.

Well NORAD is going to be tracking Santa again this year. This is the 50th year Santa will be tracked by the military. This is essential to ensure that we don't accidentally shoot Santa down and we have advised Santa in the past of hot spots so he knows when he'll have to be particularly stealthy.

Personally we have been tracking Santa on the NORAD site for the last 4 years. It has been great and the kids get to see Santa cam footage (a new report every hour) as Santa progresses through the time zones. Make sure you have the right plugins setup ahead of time.

NORAD helps you setup and test your machine ahead of time.
Every year, Santa's travels are watched by the men and women of NORAD. This year will be no exception. Starting early in the morning of December 24, 2004, we'll be tracking him. Based on careful record keeping from years past, and highly skilled radar and satellite technicians, we normally know exactly where Santa is throughout Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve we'll post a map of the world on this web site. It will pinpoint a few of the thousands of places Santa visits. We'll update the map throughout Christmas Eve, showing you where Santa is every moment, where he's been and where he's going. Clicking on that map will display Santa Cam videos of his journey.
Test your video player now

Click the test video link below to see if your computer has the necessary plug-ins to view images from our SantaCams. If you hear sound and see video, you're all set! If you are having trouble seeing the video or hearing the audio download the Real One Player by clicking the link below.

Click for larger picture suitable for wallpaper.
How this tradition came about.
This is the 50th season that NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa. The tradition began after a Colorado Springs store's advertisement for children to call Santa on a special "hotline" included a 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. In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States decided to create a bi-national air defense command for the North American continent called the North American Air Defense Command. Canada and the U.S. believed they could better defend North America together as a team instead of separately.

The Command carried out its first Santa tracking in 1958 after inheriting the tradition from CONAD. Since that time, Canadian and American men and women who work at NORAD have responded to phone calls from children personally. Additionally, media from all over the world call NORAD on Christmas Eve for updates on Santa's location. Last year this Website was visited by millions of people who wanted to know Santa's whereabouts. This year, the information is provided in six languages.

NORAD relies on many volunteers to help make Santa tracking possible. Many people at Cheyenne Mountain and Peterson Air Force Base spend part of their Christmas Eve with their families and friends at NORAD’s Santa Tracking Operations Center in order to answer phones and provide Santa updates to the many thousands of children who calls in.

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