Is it true that the Pentagon tracks Santa? Yes, according to Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, who was asked this atypical yet probing question during his most recent press conference. The query came from an atypical yet probing source: a little girl who happened to be on hand on Friday, states the Washington Post on Dec. 13.
Kirby noticed the young lady before the gathering went into action, and said that she was more than welcome to ask a question should she want to do so. All the little miss needed to do was raise her hand if that was the case, which she did nearly half an hour into the session. David Martin, CBS News correspondent noticed, and pointed out the tiny limb shooting up at the ceiling.
Prim and proper, this curious investigator got right to the point after being asked to speak, calling the official by his formal name which to her is Admiral Kirby. She asked, “Are you ready to track Santa this year?”
His answer was swift and sure, and accepted with a bit of levity as well. He told this budding journalist that all she had to do was go to the North American Aerospace Defense Command site to see that the tracker designed to watch the whereabouts of the famous man with the long white beard was in position. He told his interrogator that his department is ready to go do its duty as soon as Santa Claus starts making the rounds.
By way of background, Santa has been tracked since 1955. This all happened when, according to Gizmodo, a big box store in Colorado Springs mistakenly printed the wrong number for Mister Claus as a way to help children reach the generous gifter. Instead of his North Pole phone number, Sears shared “the hotline for the Continental Air Defense’s Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup.”
Not pleased, this bigwig didn’t get mad. He got even by commanding his staff to offer Santa’s location to every kid who called. Three years later, when the Continental Air Defense (CONAD) turned into the North American Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD), “… kids were [still] calling NORAD’s phone number like crazy. That Christmas Eve, hundreds of volunteers at Cheyenne Mountain and Peterson Air Force base spent part of their night answering the phone and telling kids where Santa was.”
And so it goes, up until this year when, after half a century, Pentagon tracks Santa as is tradition, making this and every other time of year when Claus is in charge a very Merry Christmas for all, and for all a good night. Ho, ho, ho.