Las Vegas Sun

July 22, 2014

Currently: 107° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Santa’s sleigh being watched over by U.S. military radar

Image

Steve Marcus

Jaheem Brown, 10, poses with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, elf Meghan Sellers and Santa Claus during a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas Tuesday, December 6, 2011.

Santa's Las Vegas photo album

Santa talks with Lauren Nowak, 4, during the Holiday Spectacular at the Springs Preserve, Sunday, December 11, 2011. The Holiday Spectacular will continue on Saturday, Dec. 17 and run through Friday, Dec. 23.  . Launch slideshow »

Santa Claus and his reindeer are airborne and on their way to Las Vegas, the U.S. military has confirmed.

Santa was spotted in Romania around 1:30 p.m. and is continuing to work his way west across Europe on his way to the United States, according to NORAD's Santa tracker.

According to NORAD's website, the organization, which usually tracks activities in the sky for military purposes, has deployed an array of high-tech equipment to follow Santa as he circumnavigates the globe.

Radar detects Santa’s departure from the North Pole and then geo-synchronous satellites with high-tech sensors are able to pick up the infrared signature from Rudolph’s bright red nose to continue tracking the sleigh.

The Santa cam network is capturing images and video from his stops all around the world.

Upon reaching North America, Santa will be greeted with a contingent of fighter jets from Canada and the United States that will accompany him for part of his journey.

NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command, have been tracking Santa’s flight since 1955 after a Sears Roebuck & Co. ad for children to call Santa accidentally included the number to the command’s operations hotline.

As children called in, the commander checked the radar to provide updates on Santa’s location and the tradition was born.

Volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado were fielding 4,000 calls an hour Saturday morning, on pace to break a record. Also, Santa's NORAD Facebook page exceeded 840,000 "likes" by midmorning. Last year, Santa had 716,000 "likes."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 3 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. They are escorting Santa in the hopes of discovering the secret of his time-warp and data management technology. Alas, this is an endeavor doomed to failure.

    Santa is pure, wonderful magic!

  2. let's hope he comes back next year!