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  • Writer's pictureEmil Krongaard, D.Sc.

This Skeptic Believes in Santa

Updated: Jan 14

OK, you’re wondering how a scientist and dyed in the wool skeptic could actually believe in Santa? You’re probably expecting me to say something like, “I believe that the spirit of kindness, giving and love represented by Santa, lives during the holiday season, etc., etc.” Well, no. That’s not what I mean. In fact, I’m not seeing a whole lot of kindness and love out there these days. What I mean is that I have discovered proof that Santa, his flying sleigh and reindeers, do actually exist.

Unbeknownst to many, since 1965, Santa, his flying sleigh and reindeers have been characterized by NASA, (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration), and the DOD, (the Department of Defense) as “Unidentified Flying Objects” or “UFOs.” (Santa and other former UFOs were recently reclassified as an “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena” by NASA in 2023.) I had heard a rumor about the classification and uncovered the evidence for myself after undertaking a stealth mission. I made a covert entry into a seldom visited gallery on the second floor of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. There I found it. A recorded transcript and artifacts produced in 1967 by astronauts Walter M. "Wally" Schirra Jr. and Thomas P. Stafford, both of whom manned the Gemini 6 mission in December, 1965. Specifically, on December 16, the pair reported to Mission Control they had seen a UFO. Stafford radioed, "We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, probably in polar orbit.... Looks like he might be going to re-enter soon.... You just might let me pick up that thing.... I see a command module and eight smaller modules in front. The pilot of the command module is wearing a red suit." Immediately, in accordance with rehearsed protocol, the two encoded their further transmission, communicating about the sighting solely through tones produced by instrumentation planned for such occasion. Mission Control's Elliot See, responded to the encoded message with the statement, “You're too much,” which has been interpreted as perhaps meaning that the tonal signal had become overmodulated due to the frequencies of the tones. At this point the transcript of the event ends.

The tonal message communicated by the transmission has never been formally decoded by NASA, or at least such formal translation has not been made available for public consumption. Some would call this a cover up. I prefer to think that NASA elected to keep things quiet because of its well-known turf war with DOD. Quite simply, NASA possibly had concerns that DOD would order a “shoot down,” of the UFO, forever crushing the Santa experience for children all over the globe. Thankfully, such did not occur.

And, that is why this skeptic believes in Santa.


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