NORTH POLE (WMTV) -- The U.S. Air Force’s radars are all turning north and they’re zeroing in on one jolly old elf and his eight tiny reindeer (nine, if it’s foggy and they need a shiny nose). As Santa stuffs his bags full of toys for all of the good girls and boys, Airmen are preparing to track his magical flight.
And, they aren’t the only ones with an eye towards the sky, kids everywhere need to know when Santa is near, so they can be nestled all snug in their beds before man in red arrives – or else, risk him skipping their chimney altogether.
That means folks from all over the globe, will be calling and emailing and watching intently online to find out where he is now and get those milk and cookies ready! That’s right, NORAD’s Santa Tracker is back again, for its 64th straight year.
It continues a tradition that started accidentally on Christmas Eve in 1955.
That year, an ad placed in a local Colorado Springs newspaper encouraged kids to call a phone number to find out Santa's whereabouts on Christmas Eve, but instead of the intended number, the operations center for what is now called NORAD was printed.
Col. Harry Shoup was in charge that night, and instead of hanging up, he had his operators find Santa and report on his location.
NORAD is typically charged with detecting attacks against North America by aircraft, missiles or space vehicles, but on Christmas Eve, its high-tech tools of detection are repurposed to find and track just one sled.
According to NORAD, he is expected to take off at 1 a.m. Christmas Eve morning.
To reach the Santa trackers, call 1-877-Hi NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or e-mail email@example.com.