Holiday watchers were thrown into a panic Saturday morning as the famous NORAD “Santa Tracker” website crashed.
The Daily Mail reported that the site was down at around 6:21 a.m. EST Saturday morning, and was down for less than 90 minutes. The brief outage sent social media users into a frenzy as they were unable to enjoy a cherished holiday pastime. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been “tracking” Santa Claus‘ progress delivering presents around the world since 1955.
“Oh no! The trusty [NORAD] Santa tracker has crashed as technology goes on the blink,” The Daily Mail reported. “We’re not sure what this means for Father Christmas, but hopefully it’s a technical error only and he’s still out there delivering presents.”
Screenshots from the NORAD website at the time showed a blank blue screen with no information on Santa’s location. The Daily Mail speculated at the time that the interruption could have been caused by blizzard conditions from the colossal “bomb cyclone” winter storm that blanketed most of the United States this week, since the Santa Tracker uses data from American satellites.
In response to the outage, Santa watchers panicked on Twitter, scrambling to come up with explanations for the young children in their lives.
“The NORAD santa tracker website has crashed and i have no clue how i’m going to explain this to the kiddos when they wake back up for the day,” one user wrote.
“Is the NORAD Santa tracker website/app down for anyone else?,” asked another. “Seems like of all the days, today would be fairly important to be running…”
“Where is Santa?,” another user tweeted. “NORAD can you please get it back up because I NEED to know where Santa is and I might just have to go to either Google SANTA tracker [or] Flightradar24 SANTA1 flight?”
Other users had more fun with it, and several blamed the outage on recent events besides the winter weather blast.
“The NORAD Santa Tracker is down. Our defense system is down,” one user joked. “An attack on American soil is imminent. Hide your kids, hide your wife. We have hours left until the fat man and his animals invade our shores.”
“I don’t want to worry everyone but… Norad’s Santa Tracker is down,” one user wrote, before taking several swipes at ELon Musk’s takeover of Twitter. “What’s going on? Has Elon banned live sharing of Santa’s ‘assassination coordinates?’ Have the reindeer demanded WFH this year?”
“Norad santa tracker isn’t working, they must’ve given all the money for that to Ukraine this year,” said another.
NORAD restored the site at around 7:30 A.M. EST. “Thank you for your patience!” NORAD wrote on its Facebook page. “We are up and running! (Santa has been up for hours.)”
As of the publication of this piece, Santa has already delivered more than 2.5 billion presents, and is en route to Madagascar.
The U.S. Air Force began “tracking” St. Nick’s progress on his annual journey Christmas Even in 1955, when a child, looking to call Santa Claus through a number in a Sears catalog, accidentally dialed the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Center. The tradition has been repeated every year since; NORAD took over the tracker in 1958.