|Sorry to be the one to break the news...
||[Dec. 7th, 2005|03:35 pm]
Folks, I've recently decided it's time that I should bring up some sad news, news that might be troubling to some of you. Please, if you have children reading over your shoulder, send them away. In fact, I think I should put this after a cut tag|
It's about the famous NORAD tracking Santa Claus. See... they don't.
Yes, I know, it's troubling isn't it? But the truth of the matter is, they're tracking a form of intelligent chaff.
I know, it's shocking to think that a key portion of US intelligence gathering could be so wrong, that so many prominent and important politicians could have misunderstood the meaning of the images and electronic signatures, but it's true. I believe they may have even made blunders about intelligence about more important things, as shocking as that is.
The problem is that Santa Claus has to hurry on Christmas Eve, and it's very hard to make a sleigh and eight tiny (tiny? hah! say that again *after* you've had to muck out their stables!) reindeer radar invisible. Oh, sure, the single-wing design used for the Stealth fighter and bomber was attempted, but we ended up needing twenty-four reindeer, and, blast it all, Rudolph's nose transmits broadly in the EM spectrum. (On the plus side, he can warm up your mulled cider. He can do the same for hot cocoa, but it leaves that milk-skin on his nose, and he hates that.)
Well, it's pretty amazing what you can pull off with a lab full of elves and a great deal of magic in the air, but one day, both US and Soviet radar installations got a lock on him. No one talks much about it, because who wants to admit that four fighter jets, pilots and all, vanished into thin air? (Mrs. Claus fed them hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps and rum-laced fruitcake... enough peppermint schnapps and rum, and they were willling to believe it was a fruitcake-induced hallucination. The military of both nations was quite satisfied to let them believe that story, since who would their people to know that they made acts of aggression against Santa?)
That led to the decision to employ an unmanned ariel vehicle that threw off a false radar signature. The nifty part of this is, the radar beams actually help power the device that emits the false signature back. NORAD claims to be tracking Santa, and are quite happy to do so. Whenever they catch a glimpse of the real one, they dismiss it as a trick echo, off of the "real" one.
There are still occasional brief radar locks, but after that disastrous night, the elves in charge of radar invisibility wore black armbands to signify their disgrace, swore off cinnamon toast with their breakfast until the problem was fixed, and before you know it, Santa was radar invisible once again. Or, as close as we - er, I mean "they" - could manage. Their new system not only attempts radar invisibility, it also scrambles the signals, confusing the radar operators.
Rumors that most radar operators receive a bribe on Christmas Day are entirely false; if you see one with a secretive grin and a suspiciously big candy cane walking around, trust me, it's just that they've made an educated guess and are glad to be part of a happy conspiracy.