Sunday, December 23, 2012

NORAD Ready to Track Santa's Trip

Here's one piece of the military budget that ought to be protected: NORAD will once again be using its resources tomorrow to track Santa Claus as he makes his trek around the world for Christmas Eve. Although they've dumped Google Earth in favor of Bing Maps this time around, the same minds that protect our skies from enemy missiles say they're ready to give us up-to-the-minute reports on Santa's annual mission of peace. How did NORAD get started in the Santa tracking business? According to the Mental Floss website, it started on Christmas Eve 1955, when the famous red phone at NORAD started to ring. The commander on duty, U.S. Air Force Col. Harry Shoup was taken aback, as the red phone meant trouble and only a handful of strategic officials had the top-secret number. When Shoup answered the line, however, it wasn't the President or even the Pentagon, but rather a young child, who asked to speak with Santa. It seems a Chicago newspaper ad for a local department store's "Call Santa Direct" promotion listed the wrong number and by pure chance was directing callers to NORAD's red phone. The calls to Santa continued through the night, which required Shoup to press several officers into duty as Santa's helpers. Turns out the Santa duty was popular with those who took the calls, which led Shoup and several others to come up with the idea of tracking Santa's sleigh each year. For more information, visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website.

No comments:

Post a Comment