Well, we're looking in to all those possibilities, and any way that anyone can help out is certainly appreciated.
The one good thing to come out of this thread and experience, is that hopefully people here appreciate the process that goes in to validating material and references for an encyclopedic article or just a well referenced article in general. Contributing and editing on Wikipedia since 2005 has certainly helped me to appreciate that, and recognized the need to do so elsewhere.
I had to go through the same thing on the Wikipedia Space Invaders all because Retro Gamer incorrectly published the 2600 version coming out in 1978 in two different issues now (including in their "The Definitive Space Invaders" article from Sept. 2007). Another editor was trying to use that as a reference for stating a 1978 release date, even though it was clearly incorrect. However, he did have a "valid" reference because Retro Gamer is considered as meeting reliability and notability standards on Wikipedia (published sources always have an immediate leg up on web sites, because of assumed editorial oversight. Fan sites and blogs are not considered valid sources). To people who were around at the time (such as my self) the idea that the 2600 port came out at the same time the game hit the arcades was ludicrous. But without a valid reference to the counter, it is considered Original Research (http://en.wikipedia....iginal_research
). So I had to dig up several different sources (not just one) that showed that Atari first licensed the game in '79, and other references showing the 1980 release. That included Steve Kent's passage, Master of the Game's passage, Zap!, GameInformer, and others.
There's a ton of people who rely on, what I consider, "web gossip" for their history. I.E. because its on a website or someone is stating it from personal experience, it must be true. There's got to be some sort of fact checking involved. There's a ton of Atari or video game fan sites that all regurgitate the same info from each other, that all usually have the same 2 or 3 sources (a specific book, or a handful of websites that were around 10 years ago). Look at the whole Atari/Amiga deal thing where people assumed the stories of Jack trying to appropriate Amiga technology for the ST were true, until Curt was able to release the original investment documents from Atari Inc. and talk to some of the other people involved, and I was able to interview some of the people directly involved and get the info out there in Brian's Commodore book. And we're still uncovering a paper and people trail from that whole time period to flesh things out more.
Steve Kent's book suffers from that as well. He bit off way more than he should have with that book in an effort to get a lot of good material out there, but in the process put a lot of incorrect material in there as well. The fact checking just wasn't up to par (and I think its because of the amount of material and what it took to gather it all).