This explains why my 2011 feature on the E.T. landfill is suddenly lousy with traffic: last week officials in Alamogordo granted Fuel Industries of Canada a six month window in which to excavate the city’s famed Atari dump site for a documentary Fuel is putting together about the entire legendary shebang. Half a year strikes me as a long time to spend digging up an old landfill, but that particular tract of land is pretty big and who the heck knows how long your average archeological situation lasts. They didn’t really get into that at the beginning of Jurassic Park (which is my only reference point right now for fossil-based activities).
The impression I got while researching my piece about Alamogordo’s E.T. graveyard was that the city wasn’t overly eager to revisit this odd moment in its history. Everyone I communicated with was pleasant and courteous, but there was a general air of restraint, and I think history shows the powers that be in this New Mexican hamlet haven’t been very accepting of previous excavation attempts (be they professional or amateur). As a fan I’m glad Fuel somehow managed to sway Alamogordo’s attitude—even if it was by means of a massive check. Disclaimer: I have no idea what actually swayed Alamogordo’s attitude. Maybe the city officials simply decided these were the right people to let in for the searchin’ and a-rootin’.
Which reminds me: about a year ago a producer from some trashy cable television show (like “Real Life: When Howler Monkeys Attack!”) contacted me because he was planning to create a show about the landfill with the hope some weirdo channel would pick it up. He wanted to excavate the landfill himself, which prompted a terror I was about to get trapped in a twenty-two minute Cliff’s Notes version of my article where I’d be a talking head sandwiched between clumsy dump reenactments and/or “exclusive” new dig footage. Relieved that all faded into the ether.