Author Topic: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread  (Read 57622 times)

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NORAD's Santa Tracker Began With A Typo And A Good Sport
« Reply #135 on: December 20, 2014, 01:11:35 AM »
Quote
NORAD's Santa Tracker Began With A Typo And A Good Sport
NPR Staff December 19, 2014 4:02 AM ET



Terri Van Keuren (from left), Rick Shoup and Pamela Farrell, children of Col. Harry Shoup, commander of the Continental Air Defense Command, visited StoryCorps in Castle Rock, Colo., to talk about how their dad helped to create the U.S. military's Santa Tracker.



This Christmas Eve people all over the world will log on to the official Santa Tracker to follow his progress through U.S. military radar. This all started in 1955, with a misprint in a Colorado Springs newspaper and a call to Col. Harry Shoup's secret hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD.

Shoup's children, Terri Van Keuren, 65, Rick Shoup, 59, and Pam Farrell, 70, recently visited StoryCorps to talk about how the tradition began.



The Santa Tracker tradition started with this Sears ad, which instructed children to call Santa on what turned out to be a secret military hotline. Kids today can call 1-877 HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) to talk to NORAD staff about Santa's exact location.   Courtesy of NORAD


Terri remembers her dad had two phones on his desk, including a red one. "Only a four-star general at the Pentagon and my dad had the number," she says.

"This was the '50s, this was the Cold War, and he would have been the first one to know if there was an attack on the United States," Rick says.

The red phone rang one day in December 1955, and Shoup answered it, Pam says. "And then there was a small voice that just asked, 'Is this Santa Claus?' "

His children remember Shoup as straight-laced and disciplined, and he was annoyed and upset by the call and thought it was a joke — but then, Terri says, the little voice started crying.

"And Dad realized that it wasn't a joke," her sister says. "So he talked to him, ho-ho-ho'd and asked if he had been a good boy and, 'May I talk to your mother?' And the mother got on and said, 'You haven't seen the paper yet? There's a phone number to call Santa. It's in the Sears ad.' Dad looked it up, and there it was, his red phone number. And they had children calling one after another, so he put a couple of airmen on the phones to act like Santa Claus."

"It got to be a big joke at the command center. You know, 'The old man's really flipped his lid this time. We're answering Santa calls,' " Terri says.



Col. Harry Shoup came to be known as the "Santa Colonel." He died in 2009.   Courtesy of NORAD


"The airmen had this big glass board with the United States on it and Canada, and when airplanes would come in they would track them," Pam says.

"And Christmas Eve of 1955, when Dad walked in, there was a drawing of a sleigh with eight reindeer coming over the North Pole," Rick says.

"Dad said, 'What is that?' They say, 'Colonel, we're sorry. We were just making a joke. Do you want us to take that down?' Dad looked at it for a while, and next thing you know, Dad had called the radio station and had said, 'This is the commander at the Combat Alert Center, and we have an unidentified flying object. Why, it looks like a sleigh.' Well, the radio stations would call him like every hour and say, 'Where's Santa now?' " Terri says.

"And later in life he got letters from all over the world, people saying, 'Thank you, Colonel,' for having, you know, this sense of humor. And in his 90s, he would carry those letters around with him in a briefcase that had a lock on it like it was top-secret information," she says. "You know, he was an important guy, but this is the thing he's known for."

"Yeah," Rick says, "it's probably the thing he was proudest of, too."
http://www.npr.org/2014/12/19/371647099/norads-santa-tracker-began-with-a-typo-and-a-good-sport?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=2045

Offline Geo

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #136 on: December 20, 2014, 04:36:02 PM »
Bet ya this's the sole reason the Russians never attacked in the fities/sixties.

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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #137 on: December 20, 2014, 04:39:32 PM »
To the contrary, it's a wonder they never nuked us on Christmas Eve while NORAD was busy with cute bullcrap.

Offline Geo

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #138 on: December 20, 2014, 04:50:42 PM »
They'd never done that. It would've ruined Orthodox Christmas Day!

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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #139 on: December 20, 2014, 04:57:33 PM »
They've got nothing against Uno in particular.

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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #140 on: December 31, 2014, 09:14:25 PM »

Offline Geo

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #141 on: January 01, 2015, 04:27:03 AM »
America's new military...blimps?
http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=14936.msg66163#msg66163


It 'forgot' to intercept me... ;cute
Unless... we did have to make a landing in Boston after clearing Canadian airspace before continuing to DC. Coincidence? :whistle:

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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #142 on: January 05, 2015, 11:43:17 PM »
Hidden World War II Battlefields Reveal Germans' Secret Tactics
http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=15085.msg66518#msg66518

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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #143 on: January 07, 2015, 08:33:59 PM »
Let in the Light: Ancient Roman Fort Designed for Celestial Show
http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=15158.msg66731#msg66731

Offline Rusty Edge

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #144 on: January 07, 2015, 10:33:21 PM »
Let in the Light: Ancient Roman Fort Designed for Celestial Show
http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=15158.msg66731#msg66731


Here's the Rusty theory. They built it that way to impress the locals, and to prove that the Romans knew at least as much as the Druids, that Roman gods were as powerful as Celtic gods.

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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #145 on: January 07, 2015, 10:40:00 PM »
How unlikely is that it just accidentally lined up that way?

Offline Rusty Edge

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #146 on: January 07, 2015, 10:46:51 PM »
Very unlikely, I'd think.  While they may have planned their corner towers for the cardinal points, the quadrants are unequal, which strikes me as rather un-Roman. They usually seem to go for precision and symmetry in their architecture.

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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #147 on: January 07, 2015, 10:47:49 PM »
They did, yes.

Offline Rusty Edge

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #148 on: January 07, 2015, 11:03:25 PM »
So, for 4 out of 4 gates/streets to align themselves with the sunrises and sunsets on the longest and shortest days of the year is impossibly improbable. Any time I've read or heard  of that happening it was deliberate. I've never heard of an accidental door alignment with the sun, even once.

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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #149 on: January 17, 2015, 05:39:35 PM »
Treasure Hunters Find Mysterious Shipwreck in Lake Michigan
http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=15381.msg67583#msg67583

 

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