When NORAD launched its yearly Santa tracker online, the Boston Globe reported that the site featured a video showing the jolly old elf being escorted by US fighters “bristling with missiles.”
This caused a minor earthquake in the Twitterverse about why Santa would need an armed escort. The answer: Russia.
But a NORAD spokesman confirmed to FlightLines’ weapons/Santa expert that the “missiles” are actually fuel tanks.
“Guilty as charged, we tried to give it a more operational feel this year; that was purposefully done to try to highlight our mission sets,” said Lt. Cmdr. Bill Lewis. “If you look at the second promo video we have where it talks through a mock training exercise, it really lays out what our different missions are and shows the different radar sets.”
So while NORAD will be tracking Santa’s flight this Christmas, if St. Nick gets into a tussle with Putin, his only defense will be eight tiny reindeer.