by Rocco Pezzella

In September 1983, the Alamogordo Daily News of Alamogordo, New Mexico, reported in a series of articles that between ten and twenty semi-trailer truckloads of Atari boxes, cartridges, and systems from an Atari storehouse in El Paso, Texas were crushed and buried at the landfill within the city. It was Atari’s first dealings with the landfill, which was chosen because no scavenging was allowed and its garbage was crushed and buried nightly. Atari officials and others gave differing reports of what was buried, but it has been speculated that most unsold copies of E.T. are buried in this landfill, crushed and encased in cement.The story of the buried cartridges became a popular urban legend, with skeptics disregarding the official accounts. In 2005, Warshaw expressed doubts that the destruction of millions of copies of E.T. took place, citing different policies Atari practiced at the time.

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