Russell Odell

Many people believe that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole. This is impossible. There is no land at the North Pole, only a body of water called the Arctic Ocean. Santa Claus lives on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Java. The Indian Ocean covers 18,350,000 square miles of the earth's surface, containing 20 percent of the world's ocean water. It has an average depth of 12,704 feet. Christmas Island sits near the edge of the Java Trench, the deepest part of the Indian Ocean, measuring 25,134 feet. As Christmas Island belongs to Australia, this makes Santa Claus an Australian.

I remember one year I was going to Hawaii for Christmas. It was Christmas Eve, the moon was out full and bright making the clouds look like curls of cotton candy. The pilot had just announced that we were flying at 525 miles per hour and if the passengers on the right side would look out the window, they could see Santa and the Rudolph gang flying through the sky. In a moment or two passengers on the left side will see him as Santa makes a big left turn right about here. Sure enough! At that moment Rudolph made a wide left turn. We all waved to Santa and he waved back. I couldn't believe my eyes. To be honest with you I didn't believe in Santa Claus. But there he was, deer, sleigh and all just outside the planes window. What a sight! With a flash from Rudolph's nose, Santa sped off in the moonlit sky and was soon out of sight.

For the next hour all we could talk about was Santa Clause and there were questions flowing through the passengers. "How can he fly so high without an oxygen mask"? "How can he go faster than a jet plane"? "What kind of fuel do the reindeer use to do this"? However, no body had any answers. We happened to be in the right flight pattern, the correct height to have seen this. Other pilots tell me they have seen Santa Claus several times during their flights on Christmas Eve. They don't tell anybody because no one would believe them. It's "old hat" stuff to them.

There is also a Christmas Island in the South Pacific, south of Hawaii. It is seldom shown on maps. Remember, the original Christmas Island is in the Indian Ocean. The one in the South Pacific is where Santa's in-laws live. He likes to keep a distance between himself and his relatives.

Now that we know about Santa Claus, we should check out the Easter Bunny who lives on Easter Island in the South Pacific. The island was discovered on Easter Sunday in 1722 by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen. At that time the island had about 4,000 inhabitants. How the first people got to this island is a mystery. It is the most isolated piece of land in the world. The nearest island is 1,243 miles away and it is more than 2,400 miles from Chile.

By 1879 the population had been reduced to 110 and 20 of those were women. Peru had been stealing the men and using them as slaves on other nearby islands to dig bird guano. They died out before they could be studied as a race of people.
Santa told me he used to stop on Easter Island about 100 years ago. It was always a problem what to bring the children. Their children didn't play with the same kind of toys children in Germany, France, England and the other countries did. He brought them different kinds of food that they enjoyed. They didn't write him any letters telling him what they wanted. This is why it is so important to write to Santa and tell him what you would like to have him bring you.

A better name for the island would be, " The Triangle Island," for that is the shape of its 46 square miles. On each corner of the triangle, there is an extinct volcano.

One of the great mysteries of these islands involves the stone images carved by a forgotten people. They range up to 33 feet high and some of the stone images weigh 50 tons. They all face west. We don't know who carved them, how they got there, why they were carved or for what reason. Only the Easter Bunny knows for sure. In 1880, Chile annexed the islands and this makes the Easter Bunny a Chilean Rabbit.

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