More impossible ‘eyewitness’ accounts of 9/11: Renaud and McIntyre

By Craig McKee

One of the most bizarre and unbelievable accounts given by anyone with TV network connections on Sept. 11, 2001 was that of Theresa Renaud, described as the wife of CBS Early Show producer Jack Renaud.

Her account is available on the Internet and was presented in the film September Clues, which alleges that video we saw on and after Sept. 11 was tampered with to deceive the public.

Renaud was recounting live on CBS how she had been at her window and had heard the North Tower explosion. While telling the story, she sees the second alleged impact. Her account of that, live, was very revealing.

Before that second impact, she explained to host Bryant Gumbel that her office building in Chelsea looked “directly on to” the towers (even though it was several miles north). She described how her building was the tallest in the area, giving her a good view of the World Trade Center.

Renaud described the first impact this way: “I would say that approximately 10 minutes ago there was a major explosion from, probably it looks like from the 80th floor, it looks like it’s affected probably four to eight floors, major flames are coming out of the, let’s see, the north side and also the east side of the building, yes.”

Gumbel then asks her if she heard the explosion. She continues: “Oh yes, yes we did as a matter of fact, in fact we did hear because I was standing there pretty much standing looking out the window. I didn’t see what caused it or if there was an impact.”

She didn’t see what caused it. She heard an explosion (not clear if she saw it, too), but she didn’t know if there was an “impact.” So far, so good.

She is apparently still looking at the towers during the interview – then the second plane apparently hits. Here’s where it gets better:

“Oh there’s another one, another plane just hit! Oh my God, another plane has just hit another building! It flew right into the middle of it! Explosion!”

One second she has no idea what caused the first explosion (specifically saying she didn’t know if there was an impact), and the next second she is saying that ANOTHER plane has hit ANOTHER building.

By the way, the second plane came from the south, hitting the south side of the building. She saw it hit “in the middle of it” from her location several miles north. Hmm.

So, what could have caused her to say this? Could there be an innocent explanation? What would that be, exactly?

Given that so many media-connected people were almost instantly available to report live from the vicinity of the World Trade Center that morning, the whole thing is very suspicious. I don’t believe her account was genuine. The content was unbelievable, and so was the delivery.

There’s also a moment when she tells Gumbel that she’s sure the plane hit the building on purpose. Naturally, he asks why she thinks this.

It’s because… it just… it just flew straight into it. There’s not… it didn’t look like it was… ah… and it didn’t look like a commercial jet. It was a smaller plane. It was definitely a smaller plane.”

She wasn’t the only witness who said on TV that day that it was definitely not a commercial jet. I’m not sure how she could be so sure of that being miles away and on the wrong side of the building.

Renaud was working for Deutsch Inc. in a huge building at 111 8th Ave. in Chelsea, a few miles north of the World Trade Center. Many of the TV pictures we saw on 9/11 were shot from the north and from some distance away. The perspective has been compared to the view from 111 8th Ave., and they look very similar. In fact, CBS showed a view that could easily have come from Chelsea.

But there’s no proof that her view was the same or that any images were shot from a location in this building. It is tempting to wonder given the building’s current use.

The building, built in 1932, has been a major telecommunications hub since the late 1990s. The web site for the structure describes it as one of the world’s “most wired” buildings. It offers 2.9 million square feet of office and telecommunications space, including 500,000 square feet occupied by Google.

Let’s give Theresa a break and look at another controversial account. Jamie McIntyre of CNN stated what he had seen on 9/11, but later changed his tune. At first he said:

“From my close-up inspection, there’s no evidence of a plane crashing anywhere near the Pentagon. The only site is the actual side of the building that’s crashed in. The only pieces left that you can see are small enough that you can pick up in your hand. There are no large sections, wing sections, fuselage or anything like that anywhere around.”

On a later occasion, he said, “I was there on September 11, and I saw the wreckage of a plane, including large pieces.”

He later addressed the impression that he had originally questioned whether a plane had really hit the Pentagon:

“From my close-up inspection, there’s no evidence of a plane having crashed anywhere near the Pentagon. In fact, I was answering a question based on an eyewitness account who thought the American Airlines plane landed short of the Pentagon. I was indicating there was no crash site near the pentagon, only at the Pentagon.”

Why would stories start one way and then morph into accounts that mesh beautifully with the official conspiracy theory (see my last post about Mike Walter)? Did they think we wouldn’t notice?


  1. The first quote about Renaud can simply be attributed to human fallibility. At a traumatic moment anyone can say something ridiculous and I’m sure you can think of many instances where someone says something which appears to contradict their earlier statement, but it’s only because people make mistakes.

    I’d like to comment on McIntyre’s quotes more specifically cause it interested me that someone could change their story like that and it certainly seems odd. If you check out this link it goes through a lot of detail of his accounts and helps to explain some of the inconsistencies in his accounts. It’s clear he was simply replying to a question and therefore he sounds like a suspicious, when in reality his account his merely misinterpreted.

    The lesson of all this is you should NEVER trust eyewitnesses, ever! First find tangible evidence then verify eyewitness accounts to see if they match up and if they don’t you should be able to make sense of them in a reasonable manner (hearing explosions for example could be a car backfiring, electrical wiring, etc.) Btw I really like the name of your blog!

    1. I appreciate the McIntyre link. He does clearly mention seeing small pieces of a plane (the silver painted piece is likely the same one we’ve seen in photographs), but I don’t buy the explanation that he was talking about not seeing something “near” the Pentagon because it was “in” the Pentagon. If you see two cars crash in an intersection, do you say “I saw no evidence of a crash anywhere near that intersection”? No. If you said that, you’d be including the intersection itself. That’s my view, anyway. I also can’t figure his comments about the footage released that allegedly shows something hitting the building. He says it’s “pretty obvious” what happened. But that footage doesn’t make anything obvious. And it shows something barely moving into the frame but not approaching at the angle that the official trajectory would require. To me, journalists should look at evidence critically and not standing for the official story without question.
      About Renaud… Here I’m not even a little persuaded by your explanation. Yes, you can get flustered and nervous, but I don’t believe you’d say you don’t know what caused the first crash or if there was an impact if you say a plane hit the building. This is a slip that is much more likely to be someone failing to keep their story straight. Anyway, she wasn’t that flustered; she immediately identified that north and east sides of the building as being where smoke was coming out – and she wasn’t that close. And was she the only person they could get on the air? Someone who was miles away and who didn’t see an impact? This one feels phony to me.
      I agree with you about eyewitnesses; they can’t be relied on without corroborating evidence. But when it comes to the explosions, backfires can’t explain what many people say they heard and witnessed. Huge explosions were reported in the sub-basements. I’ve seen the interviews, and none of them make bizarre contradictions like Renaud did. Thanks for the comment about the name, and thanks for the comment.

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