Boise man claims responsibility for Atari game burial

ALAMAGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – The big dig for Atari games in Alamagordo last week hasn’t done much to diminish the folklore about the E.T. games.

In a secret warehouse in southern New Mexico, a small team spent the week hauling, sorting and restoring thousands of games

Legend has it that back in the 1980s, the company buried the games under the cover of night because they were so bad.

But a man from Boise, Idaho says he knows that’s not true – because he was the one who dumped them.

James Heller told KBOI the actual story is far less mysterious.

“There were many, many things written that it was done in the middle of the night. It was not,” Heller said.

Heller worked for Atari 30 years ago.

He says Atari told him to get rid of thousands of games from a warehouse in El Paso because the company couldn’t sell them.

“I had been charged with getting rid of it as quickly and as inexpensively as possible and so I did. That was my job,” he said.

Heller joined Saturday’s E.T. dig, which also unearthed all sorts of games like Centipede, War and Pac-Man.

Alamagordo city officials say it will be weeks before they know exactly how many games were unearthed.

Heller says he knows how many were buried: 750,000. 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.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s