Santa tracker will still run despite government shutdown

Dec 25, 2018, 01:52
Santa tracker will still run despite government shutdown

This year, keen followers of Santa Claus can track his journey delivering presents on the NORAD website from 8am GMT on Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, The North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad) will update its site with the latest news on where Santa Claus is on Christmas Eve.

Despite the shutdown, more than 1,500 civilians and military personnel have enthusiastically volunteered to continue their tradition of tracking Santa's worldwide journey on Christmas Eve for the 63rd year in a row.

The minister said that "Mrs Claus will be accompanying Santa in her role as chief navigator" and said she has "advised that milk, cookies and carrots are the best items for children to leave out before they go to bed". NORAD team members also gets lots of help from volunteers, which is how they're able to keep the red and green lights on every holiday season.

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For the past 63 years NORAD, who generally watches aerospace activity, turns its eyes to track Santa's Christmas delivery progress.

When Col. Harry Shoup picked up his secret hotline at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, he was expecting a call from a four-star general at the Pentagon, according to a 2014 StoryCorps interview with his children.

So as the calls came in, Shoup put his airmen on the phones to pretend to be Santa Claus.

Every year it has taken over 160 phones to handle all the calls that pour in. The satellites can track Santa's location by using infrared heat sensors to detect unusual flying objects - such as a magical sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. New volunteers get a playbook that briefs them on the questions kids might ask. O'Shaughnessy, said he'll answer phones on Monday.

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"I assume this committee can count on your commitment to continue that venerable tradition", Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton asked seriously.

"Yes sir, especially since my son Sam would want to see that as well", O'Shaughnessy replied.

Since that time, NORAD men, women, family and friends have selflessly volunteered their time to personally respond to phone calls and emails from children all around the world.

The Santa Tracker for Christmas 2018 was launched on December 1.

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