NORTH POLE (WATE) — You better watch out, you better not cry. Santa Claus is on his way. The staff at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) started to track Santa’s sleigh again this year on Dec. 24.
“While in the United States, American NORAD fighter pilots in either the F-15s, F16s or F-22s get the thrill of flying with Santa and the famous Reindeer – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph,” said a NORAD spokesperson. “Even though Santa flies faster than any jet fighter (Santa actually slows down for us to escort him), all of these systems together provide NORAD with a very good continuous picture of his whereabouts.”
The modern tradition of tracking Santa began in 1955 when a young child accidentally dialed the unlisted number of the CONAD Operations Center upon seeing a newspaper advertisement telling kids to call Santa. Director of Operations Harry Shoup answered the call, and instructed his staff to check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole, the NORAD website says.
A tradition was born and continued when NORAD was formed in 1958. Each year NORAD reports Santa’s location on Dec. 24 to millions of children and families around the world.