Outage Affects News Operations

All of the North Pole has struggled to maintain contact with the outside world since late last Wednesday night. A fierce and prolonged winter blizzard laid waste to new fiber optic cables being installed to upgrade North Pole infrastructure. The surprise storm also disrupted all outdoor activities and ground traffic as well as delayed flight operations at the sleigh port. Any Internet-connect device or system suffered significant downtime, a first for the North Pole.

As explained earlier today via North Pole Flight Command the storm hit while critical upgrades were being made. Normally, such intense weather is not seen during this time of the year at the North Pole. Elves in the Weather Tracking Department are examining what went wrong with their forecasts and why crews working the upgrades were not given more notice in advance of the storm.

“For all of our modern technology we still are not 100 percent accurate in predicting North Pole weather,” said Elf Seymour Snow, head meteorologist for the North Pole Weather Tracking Department. “This storm was aided by a cold front usually seen during the months of January and February – very cold, very swift and super fierce. It was the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. That’s not unusual for the North Pole but it is unusual for this time of the year. We can handle it usually. But I think with the upgrades they were working on it made us a little vulnerable and the weather took complete advantage.”

Santa has had plenty to say to several departments about this storm. The Weather Tracking and Utilities Departments were not the only ones affected. Almost all departments were affected.

Elf Ernest tells me that he has checked in with all department heads and that the overall state of readiness for Operation Merry Christmas remains on track, although most departments fell “a little short” of their production goals for last week.

Elf Ernest also says some events were cancelled, shipments were missed and that the check-in of arriving reindeer was suspended during the course of the storm.

As of today it appears all operations at the North Pole are returning to normal since Internet connection has been restored.

Sector 3 Gets First Visits of Santa’s Sleigh

The test flights of the newest version of Santa’s sleigh have arrived in Sector 3. I have just been notified by North Pole Flight Command that these flights will be in our sector for “the next several days”.

This is the first flight action in Sector 3 this year. I hope it is an opportunity for us.

Therefore, as a first request, I am asking all trackers in Sector 3 to send in a weather report as soon as possible.

Some elves have contacted me about sleigh sightings report. And the answer is yes, if you spot a sleigh please report it at once. If you can get a picture, please do so.

While we have some reports we will want in time, I’m awaiting direction for Flight Command before asking you for them.

Once I know more, I will let you know.

Please enjoy “the next several days” and stand ready for any new requests that they might give us.

Sector 3 Now on Alert

Elves – I have news from Flight Command: Sector 3 is now on high alert.

North Pole Flight Command just messaged me that the first sleigh flights over our sector will be happening very soon. How soon? They aren’t specific. And they haven’t officially announced the resumption of test flights. But this alert is the real deal – it came through official channels and was coded perfectly. This is happening, whatever THIS is.

Sector 3 has not had any kind of reporting opportunity yet this season. I think this alert changes things.

As such, I’m asking all active elves to please file a weather report as soon as you can.

Also, be prepared to submit a sleigh sighting report if you see a sleigh.

Due to the serious tone of this alert I’ve gone to 24-hour monitoring here at the Regional Tracking Center here in Bethlehem, South Africa. All elves here will be working double shifts until we know the activity in our sector has ceased.

I will keep you posted.

An Update for Tracker Elves

(From the Office of Elf Roger Star – International Director of Santa Trackers) – As you are all well aware, yesterday a test flight of Santa’s sleigh crashed in the South Pacific. If you are following the news reports here and on other official websites of the North Pole, you are as informed as I am about the current status of the test flights.

There have been many from every sector who have questions about what happened and what this event means. The purpose of my statement here today is to clarify the situation as much as I can and to provide direction for tracker elves everywhere about what they can and should be doing right now.

North Pole Flight Command, hours ago, announced that all test flights have been suspended while they conduct an investigation into what happened and how another similar event can be prevented. How long test flights will be suspended is not known at this time.

Regardless, I have instructed elf supervisors of every sector to continue with their plans. That means you MAY receive direction and/or requests from your elf supervisor even if the test flights remain grounded. The operation of test flights never had anything to do with your responsibilities as a tracker. The test flights give us good training and are helpful in developing tracking skills such as spotting Santa’s sleigh in flight. But the test flights are not necessary for you to do your job.

We remind you, that this is a new year and that Santa has placed upon us new expectations in our tracking duties. We must move forward with those things.

Please remain engaged in checking in as frequently as you can for new direction from your elf supervisor.

If and when the test flights resume, you will hear how those flights might impact your sector and if there is an opportunity for you to participate in some way.

For now, assume that all operations are normal, and that you are “on-the-job” in your tracking duties. Your elf supervisor will provide an occasional update of your responsibilities.

Thank you.

Radio News Report of Sleigh Crash

The North Pole Podcast
The North Pole Podcast
Radio News Report of Sleigh Crash

Elf Frank Myrrh and Elf Crash Murphy have now filed this radio news report of the crash of a test flight of Santa’s Sleigh.

Sleigh Crash Reported in the South Pacific

North Pole Flight Command is reporting that one of the sleighs that are part of the test flights has gone down in the South Pacific. The sleigh pilot and the reindeer have been rescued by a team from the SS Jingle Bell and are reportedly in good condition. We have no indication of the fate of the test sleigh, however.

This is a breaking news situation. We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.

Chat with Crash This Saturday

If you are available we invite you over to SantaUpdate.com and North Pole Chat for a conversation with Elf Crash Murphy. This general-audience chat will begin at 1pm EST in the North Pole Chat room at SantaUpdate.com on Saturday, August 20th.

While this chat is not specific to tracker elves I have it on good authority that Crash will be prepaid to update us on the status of the test flights and how tracker elves world wide are doing.

He will also be available to answer any general questions about Santa, Christmas and the North Pole.

Hope you can make it!

Elf Winslow

Reports Slowly Coming In

Reports to North Pole Flight Command are a little slow to come in. This is expected.

Hello everyone, Elf Flip here, with an update on our goal this year. In the past, I have updated you on the number of tracker elves recruited each year. With the change of focus to tracker elf reports, my job changes slightly.

Our goal, as announced at the annual tracker elf press conference at the North Pole in July, is to get 1 billion tracker reports. We have a little more than 3,000 reports as of this morning.

I know it sounds like a tiny little dent towards our goal. But I would remind you that last year at this time we had 0 reports by this point in the season.

Some here at Flight Command feel that part of the reason for the low number is because tracker elves for the most part haven’t even checked in yet.

And it is easy to see why that is true. In many parts of the world it is still summertime and many are on vacations. Some elves haven’t even thought of Christmas yet. As elves wake up to the fact that Santa’s flight is soon to be only 100 or so days away, they will come back and check in.

So nobody is really panicked about the report totals. It’s going to happen.

I have spoken to each elf supervisor. They are all very pleased so far with the quality of reports coming in. In fact, there are no issues at this time to tell you about.

Yes, we have a long way to go to that goal. And we recognize that the vast majority of reports will be coming in November and December.

I think it is safe to say that as of right now, we are right on target.

Official: Sector 3 Online

I see no reason to wait further: I have activated Sector 3.

This means that all tracker elves in Sector 3 need to file a status report. You can do so at this link: ELF STATUS REPORT. Please complete this by August 21st. If no response is received from elves working Sector 3 we will record you as “inactive”.

This is not a drill. Repeat: this is not a drill. This one counts. Please follow directions.

I do not yet have the flight schedule for Sector 3 test flights. And we do not yet have selected our weather analyst elves. I hope to address that in the next few days. I will keep you informed.

Just so you know, the regional tracking center located here in Bethlehem, South Africa is not 100% ready for business. But we have communication set up with North Pole Flight Command and we should be fully operational within the next four or five days.

We are sufficiently along where going active was possible. So I did it.

Merry Christmas, Sector 3. Let’s show them all what we can do.

New Report Added for Trackers

A new report has been added to the Trackers Report menu. It’s called the Sleigh Sighting Report and it is for those elves who believe they have seen a sleigh in flight.

The Elf Supervisors specifically asked for this report to be added in advance of tracking the test flights of Santa’s sleigh. They said that with so many sleighs in flights this was a very common occurrence last year.

Elf Pinky reported that her regional tracking center alone last year received more than 40,000 reports of sleigh sightings.

“It is not hard to see how this can happen,” Elf Pinky said. “We have right now 12 prototype sleighs testing around the clock. That’s more than 100 flights a day and they go all over the place, day and night. Then, in the hours before Santa launches and even when he is in flight the North Pole sends up tens of thousands of sleighs in support of Santa. Those are airlift sleighs moving freight, scout sleighs, transport sleighs moving elves all over the place, reindeer support sleighs and weather tracking sleighs – how is it possible that people DON’T see more sleighs on Christmas Eve?

So if you have seen a sleigh North Pole Flight Command wants to know about it. You can access the new report from this link, or by clicking on Tracker Reports in the menu above.

A New Era of Tracking Santa Begins

A new era of tracking Santa has begun.

Starting in the next few days your Elf Supervisor is going to ask you to file a new report – and this one counts. This is the time we have been talking about all year. This is when you really need to be paying attention.

Today was posted a new report, titled Elf Status. This new report will tell Flight Command and your Elf Supervisor whether or not you are on the job.

Traditionally, we have done in the past something we called the Elf Check-in, which was a way to indicate your readiness before Santa took flight. That old way of doing things is now gone. Tracking Santa is now different in every way and it begins with this new report.

This next week, all Elf Supervisors in each sector will call for your Elf Status report.

It is important that you respond by filing that report when the Elf Supervisor asks for it. It does not matter what your Elf Status report says at this point. But the fact that you respond to YOUR elf supervisor within the window of time called for matters a great deal. This will be one of those reports that applies to your elf evaluation score later next year.

If you file that report that you are on the job it will lead to other very important reports that will count between now and Christmas. This is definitely the time to start paying attention to what is happening.

Also, today and over the next few days – changes have been implemented to our elf registration process. For all new elves coming aboard, as previously announced, a 90-day working period as a FREELANCE ELF is now required BEFORE a new elf will be allowed to become a part of the Elf Community here at SantaTrackers.net and classified as a NORTH POLE ELF.

A freelance elf works by contract for one full season. You can read the contract at this link. All new elves will need to abide by the contract, do their jobs as elves and gain the endorsement of their elf supervisor. This is another way in which tracking Santa is different. No more can an individual sign up as an elf and do no work. They have to actually be an elf tracking Santa for Santa.

A freelance elf still files reports. In fact, the reports are even MORE critical to a freelance elf because a review of their reports over their first 90-days is key to them becoming a North Pole elf.

Regardless of your class as an elf, reporting is now active and it all counts. We are attempting to get 1 billion tracker reports this year. Starting today, those reports count.

But they only count if you file the reports needed when your elf supervisor asks for them. Please do not just send in reports willy-nilly.

In fact, if your reports are not applicable, on-time, and comprehensive they will not help you at all. The point behind all of this is to do a better job of reporting the right information at the right time when Santa needs it.

Right now, Santa’s sleigh is in the test flight period. Your reports during this period matter because we are testing all systems, including the reporting system, as part of the test flights. If your reports show snow where there is really dry heat, it hurts the effort and could count against you.

We also remind you that many reports have changed and some new reports are yet to come out. Please pay attention.

Thanks and happy tracking, elves!


New Elves Will Wait

In Elf Chat today Elf Crash Murphy announced that Elf Roger Star will outline more changes this week that will affect newly signed-on elves at SantaTrackers.net.

According to Crash new elves will have to work in a freelance capacity for at least 90 days and will be required to have their elf supervisor endorsement before being allowed to join the elf community as a North Pole Tracker Elf tracking Santa for Santa. Crash said the idea originated with Elf Moe, who expressed frustrations with recent elf recruits.

Today’s chat was full of information and seemed to have a little more serious tone:

Elf ErnestHello everyone
Elf ErnestChat today will begin at the top of the hour, or whenever Elf Crash gets here
Elf weather trackerHi Elf Ernest
Elf MaxHi Elf Weather Tracker
Elf MaxHi Elf Ernest
Elf MaxIsn’t*t a bit strange for you to be hosting chat here instead of at SantaUpdate?
Elf ErnestYes, it is.
Elf ErnestBut Elf Roger asked me to pinch hit for him today because he’s involved in some Christmas-in-July thing
Elf MaxAh, I see. So you’re hosting the chat…no announcements?
Elf ErnestRight, I’m just facilitating
Elf ErnestBut I think Crash will be breaking some news today
Elf MaxOh? That’s interesting.
Elf weather trackerHi Elf Ulan
Elf ErnestHe’s been in a lot of meetings. His tracker work is keeping him very busy
Elf MaxI’m all ears
Elf Crash MurphyHi everyone!
Elf weather trackerHi Crash
Elf ErnestCrash! You are a little early
Elf Crash MurphyI could leave if you want
Elf ErnestNo no no
Elf ErnestIt’s all good!
Elf Crash MurphyDid I see Elf Ulan here?
Elf Crash MurphyI love her. She’s so NICE
Elf Crash MurphyHi Elf Weather Tracker!
Elf Crash MurphyHey Max
Elf MaxHi Crash
Elf Crash MurphyMax, are you going to ask me about Crusader’s podcast again?
Elf MaxConsider yourself asked
Elf Crash MurphyI promise I will get in studio
Elf MaxWhen?
Elf Crash MurphyWhen Frank pushes me in there
Elf weather trackerHi Elf Radar
Elf MaxHahaha – ok, I’ll let him know
Elf ErnestFolks, welcome to today’s Elf Chat
Elf ErnestWe have Elf Crash Murphy here today and you know him as a radio voice
Elf ErnestAnd as the Ultimate Santa Tracker
Elf ErnestHe follows Santa every Christmas Eve around the world in his own sleigh
Elf ErnestAnd he reports the news
Elf ErnestIn fact, you can hear a re-broadcast of last years Tracking Santa show on Kringle Radio right now
Elf ErnestBut Crash is here today as a leader in the tracker elf community
Elf ErnestHe officially represents Elf Roger Star today
Elf ErnestAnd Crash, I hear you have news to share?
Elf Crash MurphyI do.
Elf UlanHi Elf Crash! Thank you so much! Me too!
Elf Crash MurphyRoger will be posting or making some kind of announcement this week
Elf Crash MurphyBut he told me to share a little bit of it with you guys here today
Elf Crash MurphyThere are some changes coming to how new elves become new elves here on SantaTrackers.net
Elf Crash MurphyThey are working out the details, but basically a new elf must seve
Elf Crash Murphyserve, that is
Elf Crash Murphyas a freelance elf for 90 days before they can become a North Pole elf
Elf UlanHi elf Weather Tracker!
Elf Crash MurphyAnd participate here on SantaTrackers.net with all of you
Elf MaxWhoa
Elf ErnestThat’s a very interesting development. Why is this happening?
Elf Crash MurphyIt is all about elf quality, as I understand it.
Elf Crash MurphyThey want a new elf to get a little reporting experience and gain the endorsement of their elf supervisor before they will be allowed to join here
Elf MaxWhat does this exactly mean, Crash?
Elf weather trackerI think that is a great idea
Elf Crash MurphyIt means the rush of new elves we see in the fall months of October thru December are a thing of the past
Elf Crash MurphyElf Moe came up with this.
Elf Crash MurphyHe’s been really troubled by some problems with new elves of late and this was his solution
Elf Crash MurphyIt bears Santa’s approval. It’s happening
Elf MaxWow
Elf ErnestSo…the elf supervisor has to approve a freelance elf becoming a North Pole elf?
Elf Crash MurphyYes, the elf supervisors are becoming a bigger and bigger part of things here
Elf MaxHow do they have time to do that?
Elf Crash MurphyWell, if a new freelance elf signs up Monday, as the test flights begin, they have 90 days or until the end of October to get in the good graces of their supervisor
Elf Crash MurphySo a new elf starting Monday could be a North Pole Elf by the time Santa flies
Elf MaxWhat if they sign up in November and want to be a North Pole elf?
Elf Crash MurphyThey have to wait 90 days.
Elf ErnestSo it wouldn’t happen for them before Christmas?
Elf Crash MurphyNope, not a chance
Elf MaxWhoa again
Elf ErnestI’m with Weather Tracker. This is a really good idea
Elf Crash MurphyYes, I think so too. It puts the focus right where Santa wants it – on the quality of reports
Elf MaxThat’s some really big news. Why wait to announce it?
Elf Crash MurphyThere are some changes to the sign up and registration process we need to get taken care of.
Elf Crash MurphyBut Elf Roger wanted our North Pole elves to know about it before hand, just because
Elf ErnestOk. Got it
Elf ErnestAny other news?
Elf Crash MurphyUm…I’m going to the Eggnog Chug in about an hour.
Elf ErnestHahaha. Me too!
Elf ErnestOk, elves. Questions for Crash?
Elf MaxCrash, I think this means we’re going to have a lot fewer elves here this Christmas.
Elf Crash MurphyYes, Max.
Elf weather trackerWill I be helping with the test flight
Elf MaxDo we have enough elves to get the reports they want this year?
Elf Crash MurphyYes, Max. Santa is okay with it
Elf Crash MurphyElf Weather Tracker, let’s talk about those test flights
Elf weather trackerOk
Elf Crash MurphySectors 5 and 1 were two of the last to announce and they are both scrambling to get set up
Elf Crash MurphySo I’m not sure, but I don’t think it will be next week for them anyway
Elf Crash MurphyI think the test flights will concentrate on Sector 4 for at least a week. After that, I don’t know
Elf Crash MurphyWatch for announcements from Elf Pinky for your sector
Elf UlanDo we need to send some reports for the test flight?
Elf ErnestIs the map going to be live, Crash?
Elf weather trackerOk thank you Crash
Elf Crash MurphyElf Ulan, yes, pay attention because your elf supervisor could ask for reports at any time
Elf Crash MurphyYes, Ernest, my sources in Flight Command tell me the map should be active Monday or Tuesday
Elf UlanOkay, I’ll!
Elf MaxOh boy. A lot of news here today in this chat
Elf ErnestWill the Elf Supervisors just start posting?
Elf Crash MurphyYes, they will. In fact, Elf Tubby wanted to post today but Roger told him not til Monday
Elf ErnestWill there be radio coverage of the launch of the test flight?
Elf Crash MurphyNo. There will be FLIGHTS. Plural. There are 12 prototype sleighs and they all have a different schedule. Too much to cover on the radio. We’re not ready yet in radio-land for that kind of reporting.
elf radarWhat kind of response time will we have on our reports when they are requested?  I mean our regular reports for Christmas, not those involving test flights.
Elf ErnestOk, so you’ll be staying at the North Pole during the test flight period?
Elf Crash MurphyThe response time? What do you mean, Elf Radar?
Elf Crash MurphyYes, I’ll be at the North Pole for at least a few weeks. After that, we’ll see.
Elf ErnestDo we know how heavy of a flight schedule the test flights will have?
elf radarHow long will we have to respond to these reports so they can be used.
Elf Crash MurphyI’m told it will be around the clock from the get go.
Elf Crash MurphyOh, I see what you’re saying. I don’t know the answer to that. Maybe once we get started we can get one of the elf supervisors into a chat to respond to that.
Elf MaxThere’s kind of a new feeling to all this this year
elf radarok. Thank you.
Elf ErnestI think that’s what Santa wanted, Max
Elf Crash MurphyI agree Maxy.
Elf UlanDoes each sector will start the test flight with different test reindeer at the same time?
Elf Crash MurphyTracking feels more…serious in some way.
Elf Crash MurphyI don’t know, Elf Ulan. We really don’t know or get much information about the test flight reindeer. I’ll see if I can find that out.
Elf ErnestCrash, with 12 sleighs…how many test flight reindeer are there?
Elf Crash MurphyI don’t know yet about this year, but last year at the peak we had more than 6000 test flight reindeer
Elf MaxThat’s a lot of reindeer feed!
Elf UlanOkay, than you!
Elf Crash MurphyYes, the Reindeer Operations Department has a bigger job than most people know
Elf ErnestCrash, do you ever go on test flights?
Elf Crash MurphyI do. We have to test our radio broadcast capabilities every year. That’s usually in October for me.
Elf ErnestHow long does that take?
Elf Crash MurphyA couple three or four days. It just depends.
Elf MaxDo you like doing that, Crash?
Elf Crash MurphyYeah, it’s good practice for me.
Elf Crash MurphyI like to broadcast “We’re going down!” now and then…just to see if anyone is listening
Elf ErnestHahaha…does that get you in trouble?
Elf Crash MurphyYes, every time
Elf Crash MurphyI try to do it when I know I’ve got a rookie in Flight Command
Elf ErnestYou’re terrible…
Elf Crash MurphyI have to have my fun
Elf ErnestOkay, any last questions for Crash?
elf radarI liked that!
Elf MaxCrash, do Santa’s regular reindeer ever serve on the test flights?
Elf Crash MurphySometimes, especially if they are recovering from some sort of injury. They use the test flights for rehab
Elf Crash MurphyBut the closer it gets to December the less they are there because Santa doesn’t want any of his A-team to risk injury
Elf MaxInteresting
Elf ErnestCrash, what do you think of the idea of sending the other North Pole News Reporters to practice on the test flights?
Elf Crash MurphyWell, they’d have to become sleigh certified first. Sleigh flight is not for everyone.
Elf ErnestIs that hard?
elf radarDo the reindeer have any problems flying in and out of the different climates encountered around the world?
Elf Crash MurphyI threw up every day for three weeks when I got certified the first time.
Elf Crash MurphyGood question, Elf Radar. And the answer is THEY CAN have issues in different climates
Elf Crash MurphyBut Santa has established rules for the reindeer to keep them safe
Elf Crash MurphyHis most experienced reindeer know how to adjust. Diet and rest play into it.
Elf Crash MurphyBut reindeer do not care for heat much. Cold, doesn’t affect them. But heat is a problem
Elf Crash MurphyAgain, a lot of this is managed by Reindeer Operations. Those elves work hard.
Elf weather trackerDoes Santa want us to leave water out for the reindeer?
Elf Crash MurphyYes, Weather Tracker. Santa always appreciates water for the reindeer.
Elf Crash MurphyBut just water
Elf Crash MurphySome want to share soda or eggnog or other stuff for the reindeer to drink and that’s not good.
Elf weather trackerOk, I will leave a bowl of water out
Elf Crash MurphyA BIG bowl, I hope
Elf weather trackerOf course
Elf UlanOkay!
Elf Crash MurphyYou know who the thirstiest reindeer is?
Elf weather trackerRudolph
Elf Crash MurphyIt’s Blitzen. I’ve seen him nearly drain a lake. That guy can guzzle it!
Elf UlanNo, who?
Elf weather trackerOh geeze
Elf Crash MurphyRudolph is a little guy. He drinks fairly little.
Elf Crash MurphyWe always joke we have to give water with electrolytes to Rudolph
Elf Crash MurphyHe doesn’t think that’s funny.
Elf MaxHahaha
Elf ErnestOk, guys. Thanks for being here today. Crash, great chat!
Elf weather trackerI will also be leaving carrots out as well
Elf Crash MurphyIt’s been a good one. Y’all have a great weekend
Elf Crash MurphyAwesome, Weather Tracker
Elf UlanThank you Elf Crash, and everyone! See you again soon!
Elf MaxThank you Crash and Ernest
Elf Crash MurphyBye everyone!
elf radarThanks guys! Merry Christmas in July everyone.
Elf ErnestSee ya!
Elf weather trackerBye
Elf MaxWow, good chat! I’ll get it posted soon!