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'just pretend you're Santa.'
December 25, 2013 3:02 AM   Subscribe

Since 1955 NORAD has been tracking Santa Claus on his annual trek around the world delivering presents (previously), but do you know why and how a grim, uber serious military organisation like NORAD, at the height of the Cold War started doing this? It turns out it's all because Sears used the wrong phone number in a Christmas advert and the officer on duty at NORAD had the presence of mind to play along.
posted by MartinWisse (24 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
I thought Snowden revealed that this was a long-term scheme to get access to the Ultra Top-Secret "Naughty or Nice" list.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:18 AM on December 25, 2013 [15 favorites]


I pretend I'm NORAD when people mistakenly call me on Xmas Eve.
posted by a non e mouse at 3:23 AM on December 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


I will pretend I am NORAD next time and shoot Santa down.
posted by Mezentian at 3:26 AM on December 25, 2013


I've switched to google's santa tracker. NORAD's days are numbered.
posted by de at 3:33 AM on December 25, 2013


I thought Snowden revealed that this was a long-term scheme to get access to the Ultra Top-Secret "Naughty or Nice" list.

He knows when you've been sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
thanks to our surveillance state!
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:39 AM on December 25, 2013 [69 favorites]


My kids are well past believing in Santa. They still check the NORAD Santa tracker every Christmas Eve. You know, just in case.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:44 AM on December 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Aww. No snark today. That made me smile.
posted by chasles at 5:15 AM on December 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


No one wants to be on the"snarky" list when Hipster Santa comes around.
posted by Riki tiki at 5:35 AM on December 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


A reenactment

Ring Ring

"Hello, top secret military line!"

*squeaky voice* "Are you Santa Claus?"

"What the...who the fuck is this? Is this Stan again, Stan, one more of your pranks and Uncle Sam will wear your fucking guts for garters!"

*squeaky voice* "Are you one of Santa's elves?"

Fin
posted by angrycat at 5:46 AM on December 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


I was all over Google's tracker last night! It was incredible, I felt like I didn't even see half of it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:06 AM on December 25, 2013


Puts a nice happy face on the military industrial complex for the season, anyway.


Talk about a "war on Christmas!"
posted by spitbull at 6:16 AM on December 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm just glad Santa made it through the world danger hotspot of Boise
posted by Bwithh at 6:21 AM on December 25, 2013


What if that typo was purposely added by a Soviet agent, in an attempt to overload the phone lines at CONAD and launch a sneak attack?! Coulda happened.
posted by orme at 6:23 AM on December 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's just another $230 Billion boondoggle. (Duffel Blog Post)
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:15 AM on December 25, 2013


Michelle Obama answers NORAD’s Santa hotline
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:25 AM on December 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've switched to google's santa tracker. NORAD's days are numbered.

Another triumph of the free market over bloated government inefficiency!
posted by entropicamericana at 8:47 AM on December 25, 2013


The NORAD Santa site contains an ad for Internet Explorer.
posted by riruro at 8:56 AM on December 25, 2013


Thanks for this post. Love this information.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:25 AM on December 25, 2013


I feel sorry for those first few kids. I hope they eventually heard about what happened (when they grow up) and weren't crushed. But I love that NORAD took this on. I used to tune in by radio when I was a kid. :)
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:50 AM on December 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


From the Duffel post article.

Bradford decided to fly a fighter escort for Big Red One. Two F-18′s were painted red and green. The paint job cost $10 billion and the escort flights will cost another five.

Either someone's added some extra zeros to this figure or the article is a joke.
posted by Pseudology at 11:22 AM on December 25, 2013


Either someone's added some extra zeros to this figure or the article is a joke.

Given that it's been published on the internet, have you not considered the likelihood that it's actually a cold hard fact?
posted by crayz at 11:35 AM on December 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I thought the Duffel was inspired by The Onion?
posted by peppermind at 11:38 AM on December 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Duffel Blog is satire.
posted by Cookiebastard at 3:12 PM on December 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


"....is this one of the elves?...."

I think I wet myself.
posted by mule98J at 1:18 AM on December 26, 2013


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