Eagle-eyed users of microblogging site Twitter claim to have unearthed the secret meaning of today's "Google doodle", a depiction of crop circles spelling out the Google name which has puzzled many users of the ubiquitous search engine.
In conjunction with today's alien-themed logo, the official Google Twitter account tweeted a set of coordinates at around 4am, as well as a link to an image of the crop circle logo. As Twitter users noted in reference to the image, those coordinates indicate the position of the town of Woking and speculation began on the significance of the town.
As residents of Woking will attest, the West Surrey town's affinity to UFOs lies in its position as the setting for the first martian landing in science fiction author H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, and moreover the author lived there for much of his adult life. With the 143rd anniversary of Well's birth next week, Twitter users now believe they have got to the bottom of the mystery, concluding that the images (and tweet) are coded references to the upcoming milestone. User joshgjohnson noted, 'this is a "lead-up" as was the Sept 5th logo', an earlier Google doodle which depicted a flying saucer apparently in the act of abducting the letter 'O'.
The timing of the reference is unusual, however, with six days until the crucial date, and further speculation has turned to its significance, with some suggesting a link to a sighting of a UFO in nearby Bagshot Heath, made on 15 September 1985. With next Monday the date of the official anniversary, internet users and science fiction fans alike will be searching for clues in the coming days to try and work out what Google is planning as a tribute to a man generally regarded as the finest science fiction writer of all time.