News / USA

US Defense Agency Tracks Santa's Progress

This Google map created by NORAD shows Santa over West Africa as he moves around the globe.
This Google map created by NORAD shows Santa over West Africa as he moves around the globe.
William Ide

An increasingly popular website set up by the U.S. Department of Defense is giving children around the world a chance to follow the globe-trotting progress of Christmas legend Santa Claus and his trusty sleigh of reindeer. The Web site, which is operated by the North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD, even includes video sightings of the red-cheeked holiday celebrity.

In the wee hours of Christmas morning in Asia, NORAD Santa Tracker Lieutenant Colonel Dick Fullton gave this update of the progress of Santa and his sleigh of reindeer. Santa's sleigh is led by his ever popular Rudolph - whose glowing nose lights the way in the night. "NORAD's satellites are alerting us Rudolph, Santa and the rest of the team are now over Perth, Australia. It looks like Santa will soon be making his way north into Malaysia, Thailand and Laos," he said.

Santa's Christmas Day voyage takes him around the globe and back again to the North Pole each and every year. NORAD, which usually uses its sophisticated radars to track missiles, has been following the progress of the jolly old man for more than five decades.

An incorrect advertisement in 1955 from a retail store [Sears Roebuck & Company] in Colorado Springs, Colorado was the beginning of NORAD's annual tradition of tracking Santa.

That year, the retail store placed an advertisement that included a telephone number for children to call and speak to Santa. The number was misprinted and instead of getting Santa, children called the operational "hotline" of the U.S. Continental Air Defense Command (NORAD's predecessor).

Naval Lieutenant and Santa Tracker Lieutenant Desmond James says the number the children dialed was usually used for five star generals to contact then Director of Operations Colonel Harry Shoup. "Colonel Shoup was the kind of character that rather than hang up the phone and say you've got the wrong number. He directed all of his staff to take those calls and tell all the children where Santa Claus was and that was back in 1955. NORAD set up in 1958 and we've been doing this ever since then," he said.

Now, it does that with its increasingly popular website, noradsanta.org. Last year the Web site had 13 million visitors.

Lieutenant James says nearly a half a million are following Santa Tracker on the social network Facebook some 40,000 on Twitter and that the effort continues to grow.

This Christmas holiday, 1200 volunteers are working at NORAD to help with the effort.

Updates to the site are made continuously throughout the day and noradsanta.org can also be navigated in Chinese, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Japanese.

You May Like

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Nigerian Islamic School Tries to Combat Boko Haram

Kaduna school headmaster teaches his students that what militants are doing is are doing is 'a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion' More

University Trains Students to Advocate for Deaf People Worldwide

Program prepares graduates to advocate internationally for access to education, jobs for people with disabilities More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid