For more than 20 years, rumors have flourished: Buried in a New Mexico landfill are millions of unsold copies of E.T.: The Extraterrestrial for the Atari 2600.
Last year, a pair of documentary filmmakers claimed to have finally found the location. On April 26, they’ll start the search — and they’re inviting the general public to come watch.
Will it be an archeological find on par with the discovery of King Tut’s tomb? Or will it be aGeraldo Rivera at Al Capone’s vault gaffe? Either way, it sounds like a can’t miss affair if you happen to live near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
The dig will start on Saturday, April 26 at 9:30am and could run as late as 7:30pm that evening. It will take place at the Alamogordo landfill at 4276 Highway 54 S (about a 3-and-1/2 hour drive south of Albuquerque).
If you’re unable to make the trip, the results will be documented by Canadian film production company Fuel Entertainment, which has spearheaded the hunt, and shown on Xbox Live later this year.
The road to the excavation has been a long one. Fuel signed a deal allowing it to excavate the landfill last May, but the project was put on hold until the plan could be finalized. That happened last week.
The filmmakers think many of the games may still be in ‘playable’ condition, despite the rumor saying Atari crushed the titles before disposing of them.
‘Playable’ is kind of a loaded word when it comes to E.T., though. The disastrous game almost single-handedly killed the home video game console business. Atari rushed the development process and bypassed QA to get the game on shelves, resulting in a confusing, buggy title that lacked any viable entertainment qualities.
E.T.’s not the only bomb to call Alamogordo home, by the way. The city was also the site of the first detonation of a nuclear weapon back in 1945 when the U.S. Army launched its Trinity program, which was born out of the Manhattan Project.