Ahmed Mohamed won the hearts of many Americans through his love of clockmaking and what many believed to be wrongful treatment at the hands of school officials and police this week.
The 14-year-old claimed that he brought his homemade project to show off for his teacher, hoping that she would be impressed with his ingenuity.
The teacher, frightened by the look of the boy’s creation, alerted school officials, who in turn reported Ahmed to police.
For a brief time, Ahmed Mohamed was arrested until cooler heads could prevail and authorities finally realized it was just a clock — not a bomb or a “bomb hoax.”
Many media reports noted Ahmed’s Muslim background and speculated that the teacher and police acted out of prejudice. President Obama even invited Ahmed to the White House!
But now one blogger — who also happens to be an engineer with an investigative eye — is calling the boy out on what he sees to be a clear case of deception.
Blogger “Anthony” of ArtVoice found a very similar-looking clock being sold on eBay. He explained further in the following passage.
“I found the highest resolution photograph of the clock I could [pictured above]. Instantly, I was disappointed. Somewhere in all of this — there has indeed been a hoax. Ahmed Mohamed didn’t invent his own alarm clock. He didn’t even build a clock…. For starters, one glance at the printed circuit board in the photo, and I knew we were looking at mid-to-late 1970s vintage electronics. Surely you’ve seen a modern circuit board, with metallic traces leading all over to the various components like an electronic spider’s web. You’ll notice right away the highly accurate spacing, straightness of the lines, consistency of the patterns. That’s because we design things on computers nowadays, and computers assist in routing these lines. Take a look at the board in Ahmed’s clock. It almost looks hand-drawn, right? That’s because it probably was. Computer aided design was in its infancy in the 70s. This is how simple, low cost items (like an alarm clock) were designed. Today, even a budding beginner is going to get some computer aided assistance – in fact they’ll probably start there, learning by simulating designs before building them. You can even simulate or lay out a board with free apps on your phone or tablet. A modern hobbyist usually wouldn’t be bothered with the outdated design techniques. There’s also silk screening on the board. An ‘M’ logo, ‘C-94’ (probably, a part number — C might even stand for ‘clock’), and what looks like an American flag…. a hobbyist wouldn’t silk screen logos and part numbers on their home made creation. It’s pretty safe to say already we’re looking at ’70s tech, mass produced in a factory.”
Also, as if that wasn’t “proof” enough that Ahmed Mohamed lied, the engineering blogger notes, this eBay listing shows that “Amhed’s clock was invented, and built, by Micronta, a Radio Shack subsidary. Catalog number 63 756.”
The engineer-blogger believes that what “might” have happened is Ahmed Mohamed, wanting to play a “silly prank” on his teacher, knew exactly how the clock would be perceived.
But what started as a silly prank became a rallying cry for agenda-driven media and self-righteous social media users looking for the latest thing to be outraged about.
“If we stop and think,” Anthony writes, “was it really such a ridiculous reaction from the teacher and the police in the first place? How many school shootings and incidents of violence have we had, where we hear afterwards ‘this could have been prevented, if only we paid more attention to the signs!’”
The writer continued.
“Teachers are taught to be suspicious and vigilant. Ahmed wasn’t accused of making a bomb — he was accused of making a look-alike, a hoax. And be honest with yourself, a big red digital display with a bunch of loose wires in a brief-case looking box is awful like a Hollywood-style representation of a bomb. Everyone jumped to play the race and religion cards and try and paint the teachers and police as idiots and bigots, but in my mind, they were probably acting responsibly and erring on the side of caution to protect the rest of their students, just in case.”
What do you think about this blogger’s take, readers? Did Ahmed Mohamed know exactly what he was doing? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image of the Ahmed Mohamed clock via Irving Police]