Track Santa With NORAD’s Santa Tracker


What began as a typo in a Sears ad in 1955 in the Colorado Springs newspaper, has grown into much more today.

A call came into Colonel Harry Shoup’s secret hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command Center in Colorado Springs. The caller was a young child calling to speak with Santa. And from their a tradition was born.


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A member of Colonel Shoup’s staff placed a picture of Santa on a board used to track unidentified aircraft that December, Colonel Shoup saw a public relations opportunity for CONAD. Colonel Shoup asked CONAD’s public relations officer, Colonel Barney Oldfield, to inform the press that CONAD was tracking Santa’s sleigh.

In 1958, the North America Air Defense Command (NORAD) took over the reporting responsibility from CONAD, and the reporting became more elaborate as the years passed.


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Today, NORAD relies on over 1,000 volunteers to make the program possible.Each volunteer handles about forty telephone calls per hour, and the team typically handles more than 12,000 e-mails and more than 70,000 telephone calls from more than two hundred countries and territories.

A website called was established to allow project access for Internet users.

Click here to track Santa’s progress.