Air Force retracts tweets claiming that Santa Claus isn’t real

The Air Force has jokingly retracted a pair of tweets declaring Santa Claus to be imaginary after a viral response to the tweets.

The tweets were originally posted to quell a Twitter feud between two rival Air Force bases in North Dakota and Missouri.

"We didn't want to have to do this, but if you 2 can't get along we must...Santa will bring you nothing this year...[because] he isn't real!" the Air Force tweeted early Wednesday.

"Alright that's it! You guys leave me no choice! No television for a week! @Whiteman_AFB @TeamMinot."

ADVERTISEMENT

On Wednesday night, the Air Force responded to a compilation of the tweets created by the Washington Examiner by retracting the messages and claiming it was merely "bluffing" to keep the two bases in line.

The Air Force traditionally operates a "Santa tracker" that tracks the imaginary Father Christmas's movements as he delivers presents around the globe on Christmas Eve.

The tradition dates back to a 1948 communique from the Air Force that claimed an "early warning radar net to the north" had detected "one unidentified sleigh, powered by eight reindeer, at 14,000 feet [4,300 meters], heading 180 degrees."

The memo was passed on to reporters from The Associated Press, who played along, thus beginning the now decades-old tradition.