On Christmas Eve 1955, Colonel Harry Shoup of the Operations Center of the Continental Air Defense Command, or CONAD for its acronym in English, in Colorado Springs, received a call to his secret emergency number. On the other side of the line was a boy, who asked him if he was Santa claus.
The little boy had dialed the phone number that appeared in an advertisement published by the Sears chain of stores in a local newspaper, urging children to speak to Santa Claus. The store sign mistakenly displayed Colonel Shoup’s red phone number as Santa’s “private phone.”
Shoup explained to the boy that Santa had started his journey that night and could not speak, but aware of the avalanche of calls they would receive that day he ordered his operators to calculate Santa’s location and give the information to each child who called. Since then Shoup was known as the “Colonel Santa”.
Thus, what began with the wrong call became a tradition that survived even the transformation of CONAD in 1958 to the North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD for its acronym in English.
NORAD is a binational operation that monitors the skies and seas of North America for unauthorized aerospace or maritime approaches to the territories of the United States and Canada; coordinate other commands to address potential threats.
Sixty-six years after the wrong call, NORAD continues to locate and protect Santa Claus every Christmas thanks to satellite systems and high-powered radars, as he makes his annual Christmas trip in which he delivers gifts to children around the world. .
In 2009 OnStar, General Motors’ subscription-based emergency vehicle communications service, partnered with NORAD to expand the Santa Claus tracking information service to the thousands of children who for whatever reason are in a vehicle on Christmas Eve. . For 12 years, OnStar subscribers and their families have been able to press the blue service button on their vehicles to find out where Santa is as he delivers gifts.
OnStar even has a special advisor whose job it is to calm the nerves of those children who, because they are traveling or because they have recently moved, fear that Santa will not be able to find them.
People who are not in their vehicle, or who are not subscribed to OnStar, can call (877) 446-6723 or visit Noradsanta.org to check the progress of Santa’s journey. You can also visit @NORADSanta at Facebook Y Twitter With the hashtag #NORADTracksSanta to find out its location, which will be updated continuously.