The Google Logo, H. G. Wells’ Birthday and the War of the Worlds Invasion Site


UPDATE: For an update, check out my follow-up post: Google Crop Circle Doodle: A Celebration of Vector Graphics and H. G. Wells’ Birthday?

OK, so now I’m hooked. This evening, the Google logo changed into a doodle of a crop circle (above). This may seem a little innocuous, after all, Google is always jazzing up their logo with celebratory bits of art. But what did this resemble?

For starters, this isn’t the first time this has happened. A couple of weeks ago, another mini brain-teaser was posted with a flying saucer “beaming up” one of the “o”s in Google. CNET blogger Chris Matyszczyk managed to follow the clues and deduced that the missing “o” could be found in the numerical clue of one of @Google’s tweets. The numbers related to letters in the alphabet and spelled out, “All your O are belong to us.” This was in reference to the classic game Zero Wing (creator of the now famous gamer war cry “All your base are belong to us). It was the computer game’s 20th anniversary.

The logo was explained, the missing “o” was explained and it all related to an event (i.e. the Zero Wing anniversary).

So now we are presented with another conundrum. What does it mean? We have crop circles (linking to the search query “crop circles“, thanks @astrobio74 for pointing that out), a missing “l” in “Google” this time…. and a tweet from @Google with the map co-ordinates: 51.327629, -0.5616088.

Typing the longitude and latitude into Google Maps takes us to a location in Woking, Surrey, UK. The exact address is on Woodham Road in a village/town called Horsell.

Doing a search for the exact address and digging around the houses turned up precious little, until I typed in “Horsell” into Google. In the results is Horsell’s Wikipedia page. Horsell was made famous as being the place where Martians invaded in H. G. Wells’ classic sci-fi novel, War of the Worlds.

Jumping over to the War of the Worlds Wikipedia page, more information unfolds:

Much of the The War of the Worlds takes place around Woking and nearby suburbs. The initial landing site of the Martian invasion force, Horsell Common, was an open area close to Wells’ home. In the preface to the Atlantic edition of the novel, he wrote of his pleasure in riding a bicycle around the area, and imagining the destruction of cottages and houses he saw, by the Martian heat-ray or the red weed.

Great, so I’m almost 100% certain this little Google treasure hunt is pointing to War of the Worlds in some way. But why would Google pick today to do this?

A little more digging into H. G. Wells himself points to a possible answer (although I’m not totally convinced this is the sole reason). Next Monday marks the 143rd birthday of H. G. Wells (on 21 September, 1866). 143 years doesn’t strike me as a significant number, but the trail seems to lead here.

I’m now trying to work out where the “l” in “Google” fits into all this…

There’s a 2012 Doomsday Turkey in my Crop Circle

Wow, look at that title for some keyword stuffing! Stuffing… get it?

Phoenix? Turkey? They're both birds, so it's close enough (M & Y PORTSMOUTH)
Phoenix? Turkey? They're both birds, so it's close enough (M & Y PORTSMOUTH)

The Telegraph: bedrock of traditional journalism, pinnacle of UK news reporting– I’m sorry, I can’t finish that sentence, I’m too busy crying with laughter.

Seriously. I mean, seriously. Sure, everyone needs to remain competitive in this ultra-fast world of social media and transient online traffic, but there’s a lot to be said for keeping your integrity too. In this master stroke of continued patchy reporting from the UK’s Telegraph we have a serious ‘news’ report about a crop circle, that depicts the Phoenix flying from the ashes. Or is it a turkey?

What could this possibly mean? Oh yes, I might have guessed. Obviously it means the world is going to end on December 21st 2012. What a coincidence, those Mayan fellas have been saying the same thing all along. Now we have crop circles? And crop circle enthusiasts telling us it’s the end of the world? Holy crapcakes, doomsday really is coming. I’ve been such a fool.

The saving grace about this article is that it hasn’t been filed under ‘science’, unlike the “Mars Skull” hilarity a few weeks ago. But that’s the article’s only saving grace.

I’d understand if there was a little scepticism in the tone of the report, or perhaps a little light-hearted banter about aliens and their fetish for bending corn, but unfortunately this is an article that jumps to one huge conclusion:

Crop circles = Doomsday

It really is that simple. Reading signs in bent corn has been the fodder for doomsday theorists for as long as there have been doomsday theories and this report does nothing to challenge that. Is it really that hard to find a skeptic/scientist/logical thinker in Wiltshire these days?

I might be missing something here, but where’s the link between these crop circles and doomsday in 2012? That’s right, there isn’t one.

And I’m now certain that crop circle depicts a turkey

Source: (YES, I know! The sodding TELEGRAPH!)