Is Santa real? According to NORAD, absolutely. NORAD, the bi-national U.S.-Canadian military organization, is responsible for the aerospace defense of the United States and Canada. So you can bet on the fact that when an overweight man in a red suit flying a bunch of reindeer enters the space above North America, they’re the ones who are going to know about it. NORAD even has top of the line, technologically advanced, Santa tracker so that they know exactly where Ol’ Saint Nick is at all times.
“Based on historical data and more than 50 years of NORAD tracking information, we believe that Santa Claus is alive and well in the hearts of children throughout the world.”
NORAD has been making use of its high-tech Santa tracker since 1955. The tradition started when Sears Roebuck accidentally misprinted Santa’s number in an advertisement. Excited children who were expecting to reach Mr. Clause at the North Pole were redirected to NORAD (at the time CONAD) where Col. Harry Shoup answered the phone.
And since Shoup was in charge of guarding the airspace around North America, he was well-equipped with the proper Santa knowledge to answer any and all questions from kids around the world.
Retired General Victor Renaurt, Jr., a Former Commander at NORAD, said:
“I have the greatest admiration for Col. Shoup and found delight in his remarkable humor with taking the first-ever call regarding Santa’s whereabouts back in 1955. His kind and thoughtful gesture will forever be a legacy at NORAD, and with the millions of people around the world who follow the NORAD Tracks Santa program each year. Truly, forever in the minds of millions he will be fondly remembered as the “Santa Colonel” and his legend will live on forever.”
After that, the men and women at NORAD became the official hotline for Santa questions. NORAD still answers phone calls and emails from children about Christmas, and in recent years, they’ve brought their Santa Tracker to the internet.
Here’s a video about Santa’s journey in 2010.
The Search Engine Journal has created this infographic about Santa’s history with NORAD.