E.T. Went Home To A New Mexico Desert Landfill

Back in 1983, Atari had a flop on their hands with “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial”. Officially, no one knew what happened to the scads of unsold cartridges, but the legend was that Atari secretly just dumped them all into a New Mexico landfill and covered them up with concrete. (Um, yeah, it was a different time.)

After more than three decades, a company called Fuel Entertainment managed to get the rights to excavate the Alamogordo site and invited Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios to film the whole shebang.

Atari dig

The result? Al Capone’s vault it was not. The excavators hit pay dirt.

“The findings started out very promising, with an old, dusty Atari 2600 joystick buried in the landfill,” reads an Xbox Wire post. “Then an ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ cartridge. A box. An instruction manual. And the confirmation of ‘a lot more down there’. How many more, we don't know just yet -- but at this point, we can safely report that those long-buried cartridges are actually, 100 percent there.”

Atari dig

In fact, the group found other game cartridges including “Centipede”, “Space Invaders”, “Asteroids”, and more, and there are “lots of boxes” down there yet to pull up.

The legend was real, and Xbox Entertainment Studios will have a Zak Penn-directed documentary called “Atari: Game Over” all about it later this year.
Via:  Xbox Wire
sevags 8 months ago

What is so special about this? Unless those cartridges are worth a hell of a lot of money... Otherwise who cares what Atari threw away.

WendellBeverly1 8 months ago

It's nostalgic, although those old Atari games might actually be worth something as a collectible.

sevags 8 months ago

Lots of things are nostalgic but they don't make documentaries about all of them and I have never heard of an ET game or this atari lore to care enough to watch a documentary about it. I think the games would be worth money but only if they destroy all but a few otherwise finding that many of them drives the price down a lot like when that cargo container full of Nintendo Virtual Reality game systems were found new in the box it drove down the collectibility and price.

Joseph Pianta 8 months ago

yeah my dad is a mask maker(think tool&die) and went to Kenner Toys to check some things out they were tossing an entire run of Star Wars figures in the trash because the backing cardboard was slightly wet... (yeah back in the Seventies when we still made stuff here in these here United States.) Again a shame that they were 'lost' like that. Corporate waste is the biggest, and they just write it off...Maybe we should go looking for them!

realneil 8 months ago

I worked in the Aerospace industry for many years.

Corporate waste indeed.

StaticFX 8 months ago

the point was that it was a rumor.. and was never confirmed. so they wanted to find out if it was true

marco c 8 months ago

I think the documentary makers are framing the original story as rumor for the entertainment value, but as far as I knew it was fact. I had read about, head accounts, and talk to people about this story for years.

With that said, I'm still interested in the details and will watch this documentary the second I can.

JasonCurry 8 months ago

I remember that game it was bad that is what started game crash of '83

StaticFX 8 months ago

same here.. that game was HORRIBLE... My buddy got it and when we played it the first time we were like.. What is this? lol no one wanted to finish it or even play it again. 

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