‘Red Nose’ Detected at North Pole

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN (Reuters) – Santa Claus is coming to town. NORAD, the U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command that keeps watch on the skies to spot missiles approaching North America, said on Monday it is detecting unusual activity in the North Pole region. NORAD analysts, highly trained and always on the alert in their mountain bunker, have concluded that the mysterious object is none other than the nose of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

“While such activity is not unusual for this time year, it does appear to be earlier than previously seen,” NORAD said in a tongue-in-cheek report. Because this is Santa’s first trip in the new millennium he may be conducting additional tests on his delivery equipment, NORAD theorized. Boys and girls, both naughty and nice, will be able to stay in touch with NORAD starting at 7 p.m. EST on Dec. 24 as it tracks Santa’s ride on the worldwide web at http://www.noradsanta.org …. NORAD has been tracking Santa’s trip since 1955 when a department store “Santa Hotline” telephone number advertised in a local newspaper turned out to be the “operations hotline” at NORAD’s predecessor. Surprised military personnel started getting calls from six-year-olds who wanted to talk to Santa. The senior officer on duty, Col. Harry Shoup, explained to them that he was “helping” Santa — and a tradition was born.

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