Canadian Filmmaker granted access to excavate Atari landfill

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,196   +120
Staff member
Canadian filmmaker Fuel Industries was recently granted a six-month excavation permit to dig through an old landfill where it is believed that Atari dumped millions of unsold E.T: The Extra Terrestrial game cartridges back in the early 1980s.

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Posts: 3,237   +1,831
What on earth would you want to bother with that for? Especially if the items were crushed and concrete poured over the top? I guess someone has money burning a hole in their pocket or has made one huge bar bet. ;)

P.S. That was one piece o' crap game, for sure!


Posts: 12,321   +5,704
For what it’s worth, Atari at the time denied that copies of E.T. were part of the load sent to the landfill. Others have disputed that claim for years. Hopefully with any luck we’ll know for sure one way or the other within the next six months.
What difference does it make one way or the other? I don't understand why anyone would care.
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Posts: 3,090   +3,149
Most likely someone is trolling for a lawsuit here. Either that or there's a Morgan Spurlock wannabe in Canada who's realized nobody has done an in-depth documentary of the game industry yet.


Oops... they are going to dig up a body under there... somebody is sweeting right now...


Posts: 2,854   +197
Still have my old 1982 Coleco Video Game System with module 21 for Activision and Atari games carts those still work after all these years. Also have Coleco Adam Family Computer System with Daisy Wheel Printer Stand alone also with Module 3 again that still works too.

Module 1 - Turbo Wheel
Module 2 - Playback of other Game Carts
Module 3 - Adam Family Computer System


Posts: 1,991   +785
They should have just giving those games away, geeze
They were so bad they couldn't even do that I guess, had to crush em and bury them in concrete so no one would ever have to endure such a horrible gaming experience ever again. Until Now! lol
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Posts: 4,718   +443
Pac-man was awesome and certainly not what I'd consider low quality when this was still at the start of home computing/gaming. Now Firefighter for the 2600. That was the worse game I've ever had the misfortune of playing.
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Posts: 16,049   +4,853
A few years back, Geraldo Rivera excavated some mud packed something or other in an old hotel, claiming it was going to be, "Al Capone's vault! He did find one old wine bottle, but managed to waste two hours for practically everybody in the country..:'s_Vaults Two hours, I might add, none of of will ever get back.

Particularly read the "Pop Culture" section of that Wiki page...:D


You have been trained to believe are told. some of us know what is under the concrete and why we now need to get it back...hint it isn't a game.


Posts: 12,321   +5,704
You have been trained to believe are told. some of us know what is under the concrete and why we now need to get it back...hint it isn't a game.
Right! You expect us to believe you know whats under the concrete. And after all these years, it now holds value which is why it needs to be dug up.


Back in the 80's Atari was using contact plating machines from japan with a minimum plating thickness of 2.5 mil (2/3 the thickness of a human hair). The gold that was used was grade b (99% pure). This was the only way that was known to allow the required 4000 insertions/removal cycles. I worked in the Quality Engineering Dept for Atari in the 80's. According to the manifest, there were several hundred tons deposited at the Alamogordo landfill. The gold to fill ratio is better than many mines in gold rich land.


Posts: 460   +59
Wouldn't they have removed all the valuable material before burying those terrible cartridges?


Posts: 12,321   +5,704
When it comes to a large corporation, who knows? Recycling could be considered more costly than starting over. Instead of dropping the resources half way down the latter, the decision was to go all the way.

After all it is inconceivable to allow anyone else to prosper on resources that are currently considered trash. I have personally seen trash thrown out and people prosecuted for salvaging things in the trash. The term "one mans trash is another mans treasure" is exactly why corporate doesn't want their trash falling into anyone else's hands.