Atari landfill dig in New Mexico Desert solves ‘E.T.’ mystery

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (NBC/KTSM) — A rumor involving “E.T” and a site in the New Mexico Desert rivaled the state’s famed Area 51 for intrigue in some circles.

Now, a 31-year-old mystery has been solved with an excavation at an Alamogordo landfill.

In the 80s, rumors circulated that millions of Atari’s “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” video game cartridge had been buried.

It’s considered the worst video game ever released.

Filmmaker Zak Penn is making a movie about the mystery surrounding the game’s disappearance.

He organized the dig, and the long-lost “E.T.” game cartridges were discovered.

“I never would have guessed that that game would have a movie — another movie made, I guess, besides the first movie ‘E.T.,’” said Alamogordo neighbor Derrick Bash. “Yeah, it’s a total anomaly. I have no idea how this happened.”

The “E.T.” game tried to cash in on the success of the Steven Spielberg movie.

It was rushed into production, and the game’s failure led to Atari going out of business. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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