Jon Sanders

Everyone's seen Rosie O'Donnell's aborted attempts to mimic the success of Oprah Winfrey. She's tried the talk show, and she's tried the self-titled magazine. Now it seems she's aiming for a "Kook of the Month" Club.

O'Donnell, who once called George Bush a "war criminal" who "should be tried at the Hague" and who thinks Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was tortured into giving up fake confessions, has now given credence to what has to be the absurdest Grand Conspiracy theory in decades: the "World Trade Center Tower No. 7 cover-up." This is the belief that WTC No. 7 was deliberately blown up to coincide with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

Asked recently by co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, "Do you believe the government had anything to do with the attack of 9/11?" Rosie responded, "No, but" — this is what's known as the "affirmative no" — "I do believe that it's the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. I do believe that it defies physics for the World Trade Center tower 7 — building 7, which collapsed in on itself — it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved. World Trade Center 7. World Trade [Center] 1 and 2 got hit by planes — 7, miraculously, the first time in history, steel was melted by fire. It is physically impossible."

Rosie goes on to say it's "beyond ignorant" and "defies reason" to say WTC No. 7 — which fell hours after being damaged by falling debris from the other towers, which hit the tower with a force described as equal to "a volcanic eruption" — wasn't imploded. (If you're concerned, Popular Mechanics responded to O'Donnell's comments at

Versions of Rosie's theory inhabit the kook fringes of the Internet. For example, a Google search using the terms Bigfoot UFOs WTC7 yielded 67,400 results. That means there are over 67,000 web pages containing not one or two but all three terms — Bigfoot, UFOs, and WTC7. So chances are, if you're a Sasquatchophile, you've likely encountered Rosie's theory along with the latest UFO sightings and Loch Ness Monster news.

Jon Sanders

Jon Sanders is associate director of research at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, N.C.