Today’s Google “Unexplained Phenomenon” Flying Saucer Logo

Google Flying Saucer Logo

Aliens in a flying saucer have abducted one of the Os out of the Google logo today. Normally when there are special Google logos like this, the holiday or special occasion is pretty clear. But this one is a stumper. What’s it for?

I’m trying to find out more. Clicking on the logo brings up search results for unexplained phenomenon, which is no help. But by searching for “ufo sept. 5,” I found a potential answer.

Today in Exeter, New Hampshire, the town is holding its first UFO festival, which in turn is based on a famous UFO sighting on September 5 in the area. From

Believers and skeptics alike will find out just what an out-of-this-world community Exeter is this weekend during the town’s first UFO Festival.

Exeter is considered a mecca for when it comes to ufology, particularly because of an event that took place in 1965, during which Norman Muscarello reportedly witnessed a hovering craft with five red flashing lights. Following his report, a series of similar stories throughout the area began emerging and the incident was captured in the book titled “Incident in Exeter,” which has become a UFO classic.

In conjunction with the logo, several have noted Google also tweeted a cryptic message:

1.12.12 15 1.18.5 20.15 21.19

That gets decoded into “All Your O are belong to us,” a play on the “All your base are belong to us” meme of the early 2000s.

If we learn more, we’ll update. Somehow, I suspect Google will be posting more about it in the future. Perhaps it all translates ultimately into Jia Junpeng, your mom is calling you to come home and eat.

Postscript: Official statement just came in from Google, which isn’t that helpful:

“We consider the second ‘o’ critical to user recognition of our brand and pronunciation of our name. We are actively looking into the mysterious tweet that has appeared on the Google twitter stream and the disappearance of the “o” on the Google homepage.  We hope to have an update in the coming weeks.”

And that gets me thinking. It’s Google’s 11th birthday this month, a flexible date that’s often moved. The talk of their brand, the name, some future play-up — might this be birthday related?

Postscript 2: The Telegraph notes that Sept. 5 is apparently the 20th anniversary of Zero Wing, the computer game from where the “All your base are belong to us” phrase comes from — and declares this the reason behind the logo. Hmm — maybe! One of the comments on the Telegraph blog post points out that the Sept. 5 date was just added.

Meanwhile, thinking further, I twittered that I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of the letters disappear each day in some type of running logo changes, as Google’s done from time to time. That didn’t happen today, but Google Operating System notes that this type of series of change my occur related to H. G. Wells.

This is due to a Google Korea blog post that says to watch for the next in the series on Sept. 15 with things of “mystery,” “invisible” and “novel,” Google Operating System translates. The assumption is that this relates to the HG Wells work “The Invisible Man” and may celebrate his birthday. If so, then expect a further doodle on Sept. 21 — when Wells was actually born.

Over at TechCrunch, another explanation. Related to the O Campaign for cancer prevention? There’s a Google connection in there.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: Logos | Top News


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • nickstamoulis

    If your NH UFO theory is correct, then it still kind of does not make sense…why change the logo for an event that happened in a small town NH…anyway the logo is pretty cool…

  • cwar05

    Interesting Post. Thx!

  • tag44

    ITs Google, no one can understand it completely.

  • Web marketing Boy

    Aaah. Many would say that the “oo” has gone out of Google!

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