Astronomers are debating whether to beam messages into space to try and contact aliens

Should we phone E.T. by beaming messages into space?


The original animatronic model used to bring big-eyed alien E.T. to life in Steven Spielberg’s classic sci-fi film sold this weekend for a whopping $2,560,000, according to auction organizers.

The item was sold as part of a two-day mega-sale put on by Julien’s Auctions and Turner Classic Movies that included over 1,300 props ranging from Robert DeNiro’s Raging Bull boxing gloves to Chris Hemsworth’s Thor hammer.

What Julien’s Auctions calls the “original mechatronic E.T. character” it sold for $2, 560,000 on weekend of Dec. 17, 2022.

But the highest ticket item was the extra-friendly extra-terrestrial, whose glowing finger and childlike innocence melted hearts in 1982, before the age of ubiquitous computer-generated imagery.

With 85 mechanical joints, nearly everything moves on the E.T. model, from the eyes, to the neck, and of course that pointy finger that was held aloft as the alien informed his new friend Elliott that he wanted to “phone home.”

A maquette of E.T. also sold for $125,000, while one of the bikes used in the film’s climatic getaway scene went for $115,000.

Other movie memorabilia sold at the Beverly Hills auction included the staff that Charlton Heston used to part the Red Sea in “The Ten Commandments,” which went for $448,000, and Daniel Radcliffe’s Nimbus 2000 broomstick from the Harry Potter film series, which fetched $128,000.


Associated Press

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