North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will receive – for its 60th consecutive year – calls of thousands of children, in which volunteers will inform them the location of Santa Claus. First lady Michelle Obama would be voluntary.
The so-called Santa Tracker’s hub is at Colorado’s Peterson Air Force base, in which hundreds of volunteers will be answering calls from an estimated 125,000 children around the globe looking for Santa’s whereabouts. NORAD also has a website where people can track the trek.
The man in red has already visited children in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, South Korea and Philippines delivering over one billion gifts thus far. Next stop is Hanoi, Vietnam.
NORAD identification technicians who monitor computer screens 24 hours a day for possible air incursions also spend Christmas Eve serving as official Santa “trackers.” The volunteers are a mix of Canadian and American military personnel and Department of Defense civilians.
According to Tech. Sgt. John Gordinier, an Alaska NORAD spokesman, a system of radar stations and satellites monitor all air traffic entering U.S. and Canadian airspace. All aircraft have a code to identify themselves. In the case an aircraft doesn’t have a code, NORAD scramble jets to see who it is and what they’re doing.
The route, which usually Santa do, starts leaving the North Pole crossing the Pacific Ocean, where it begins to deliver presents in island nations, and then he heads west on the northern and southern hemispheres. Usually, Alaska is his last stop before returning home.
The tradition started in 1955 when Colonel Harry Shoup, who was controlling the crisis phone at Air Operations Center at Continental Air Defense Command, received a phone call from a child expecting to reach Santa Claus. The misdirected call was the result of the child reversing two numbers of a Santa Line phone number printed in a Sears advertisement, according to the ABC News.
The Santa Tracker hotline can be reached at 1(877)446-6723. Starting at 5 a.m. EST on December 24th and continuing through 5 a.m. ET on December 25th.
Source: ABC News