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E.T. Found In New Mexico Landfill

Illustration for article titled iE.T./i Found In New Mexico Landfill

One of the most infamous urban legends in video games has turned out to be true.

Digging in Alamogordo, New Mexico today, excavators discovered cartridges for the critically-panned Atari game E.T., buried in a landfill way back in 1983 after Atari couldn't figure out what else to do with their unsold copies. For decades, legend had it that Atari put millions of E.T. cartridges in the ground, though some skeptics have wondered whether such an extraordinary event actually happened. (Of course, news outlets like the New York Times reported on the dump back in 1983.)

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Last year, Alamogordo officials finally approved an excavation of the infamous landfill, and plans kicked into motion two weeks ago, with Microsoft partnering up with a documentary team to dig into the dirt and film the results.

Today, it's official. They've found E.T.'s home—though it's unclear whether there are really millions or even thousands of copies down there. The AP reports they've found "hundreds" so far, and we'll keep you updated as they keep digging.

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Top image via Microsoft's Major Nelson.

More photos via Wired's Chris Kohler:

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Illustration for article titled iE.T./i Found In New Mexico Landfill
Illustration for article titled iE.T./i Found In New Mexico Landfill
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Illustration for article titled iE.T./i Found In New Mexico Landfill
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DISCUSSION

electrojam
Electrojam

A plastic tablet was also unearthed just under the topsoil:

"This place is not a place of honour. No highly esteemed deed is commemorated here. Nothing valued is here. What is here is dangerous and repulsive to us. This message is a warning about that danger.

The danger is still present, in your time, as it was in ours.

The danger is unleashed only if you substantially disturb this place physically. This place is best shunned and left uninhabited."

The fools didn't listen. Now we're all going to pay.