With just a few days before Santa makes his grand journey to bring holiday cheer to all the children of the world, we rely on websites that use special tracking methods to follow old saint Nick around, but how did programs like that begin in the first place?
Well we are specifically talking about the North American Aerospace Defense Command also known as NORAD is the joint organization of the U.S and Canadian military to track man-made objects such as rockets, missiles and in this case, even Santa’s sleigh, but how did NORAD and it’s predecessor find themselves tracking Santa?
Well like many great things it all stemmed from a mistake in a sears ad in the 50s that was urging kids to call a number that was supposed to directly connect them with a hotline in the north pole to speak with Santa. There was just one tiny issue, the number printed on the ad was wrong. Instead of Santa, kids were being connected to a Colonel in the United States Air force named Harry Shoup, instead of ignoring the calls or correcting the mistaken identity, Shoup actually played along pretending to be the man in red.
This total accident restarted a one-time tradition of the air force giving the public updates about Santa as a few years prior they had sent a message to the general public saying they had detected an unidentified sleigh being powered by eight reindeer. Though that was the only time they had done such a thing until the Sears incident. Now it has become a yearly event where NORAD will track Santa’s sleigh throughout his entire journey starting on Christmas Eve.
I think it’s kind of amazing that all this stemmed from a totally innocent mistake. I mean after Shoup was done playing the part of Santa he could have just moved on and forgotten about it, but now we have a really cool and wholesome tradition and that’s the story of NORAD and the Santa tracker at least according to Shoup the difference between fact and fiction remains a mystery.
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