As a young sailor in 1962 I was a radarman aboard the USS Watchman, a radar picket ship that operated as the seaward extension of the North American Air Defense Command. We were on station number one 500 miles northwest of Seattle, Washington. I was operating our long range search radar when an unidentified contact appeared. We began a track and reported it to our Air Force Control in Seattle. We reported every 3 minutes and continued to track as the unidentified aircraft traveled southwest towards the United States, just before it crossed the ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone). We received a flight plan and identification authorizing entrance into United States air space, of one sleigh powered by eight tiny reindeer and a Captain Claus as the pilot. It was an exciting time in CIC (Combat Information Center) and made a lonely vigil worthwhile, and I became a believer that night.
Have you had a close encounter with Captain Claus? Leave a comment below.