by Dennis E. Power
(with much assistance from Matthew Baugh, Win Eckert and Chuck Loridans)


KITTY CARROLL (The Invisible woman) 1915-1953

   If you will pardon the interruption we will take a slight detour from the history of the Griffin family to discuss a separate incident of invisibility, yet one that is connected to the narrative at hand. We have seen how Dr. Peter Drury was able to concoct a combination of the Griffin monocaine/duocaine formula to make one that appeared to be without the psychosis inducing properties. Yet this formulation was also flawed for there was not a successful reagent that would allow the subject to regain visibility with any degree of permanence.

    Despite a somewhat reclusive lifestyle, Dr. Peter Drury was well known and well liked in the scientific community for his willingness to share knowledge and his sustained correspondence with several of his colleague. As it would later be discovered his correspondence was not so much an extension of a gregarious personality but rather a means to several ends. In his capacity as a double agent for the Allies and Nazis, Drury was able to glean often sensitive material that would escape many censors. He was also able to gain through a correspondence with scientists in various fields, aid and knowledge in matters outside his field, and in many instances he was also able to held direct colleagues carry out experiments he did not have the time, material, wherewithal or intestinal fortitude to carry out. His correspondence with Dr. Lorenzo Cameron lead to Drury's semi-successful super-soldier lycanthropic experiments. (1)

    His correspondence with Professor Gibbs allowed Drury to test his invisibility formula with some modifications but in a direction that ultimately proved to also be a theoretical dead end. Professor Gibbs was a theoretical scientist/inventor much like Caractacus Potts (2), whose ideas outstripped their practical application. In other words he invented a lot of useless junk.

    Through correspondence with Drury and his Drury's researches into the original Griffin formula, Gibbs believed controlled invisibility could be achieved by combining John Hawley Griffin's use of a device to manipulate electromagnetic radiation with modern chemical methods and a reformulation of the monocaine/duocaine formula. Gibbs laboratory and home was on the estate of Richard Russell, a wealthy playboy, whose father and grandfather had begun the tradition of patronizing Gibbs various research efforts. As Gibb's researches reached their culmination Russell's finances had dwindled to the point where the estate would have to be sold and Gibbs could no longer be patronized. Fearing loss of his patron, Professor Gibbs put all of his efforts into completing the invisibility formula and machine. He wanted to use the technology to recoup the finances of the Russell family.

    Professor Gibbs advertised for a test subject and his ad was answered by a recently discharged clothing model named Kitty Carroll.

The combination of the machine and drug proved to be most effective Kitty achieved invisibility and promptly disappeared. That is to say instead of staying at the laboratory to conduct necessary biological and psychological tests, she returned to her former place of employment to play pranks on the dress company manager. She terrorized him into treating the clothing models with respect and consideration.

    Although Gibbs frantically searched for Kitty, he could not find her and thought the worst, until she returned. Shortly after she did return however before the invisibility treatment wore off.

    Gibbs had a hard time convincing his patron, Richard Russell that he had in fact achieved invisibility. Russell refused to stay and watch the second experiment and instead went to his fishing cabin. Kitty underwent a longer dose of the treatment. She and Gibbs then visited Russell's fishing cabin.

    After a series of comic mishaps, Russell was finally convinced that Kitty was an invisible woman. Gibbs had not foreseen the effect of the introduction of other chemicals into Kitty's system while she was in the invisible state. Although seemingly innocuous, Kitty had a couple of alcoholic drinks and smoked a couple of cigarettes while invisible. The introduction of nicotine and alcohol into  her system proved to have serious consequences. Kitty's invisibility did not wear off as in her previous treatment. Gibbs had to concoct a formulation that would counteract the nicotine and alcohol in her system. She was warned not to drink or smoke anymore because she would turn invisible if she did.

    Another complication to the smooth process of experimentation with this new invisibility protocol arose in the form of  Blackie Cole, a gangster living exiled in Mexico. Cole had escaped to avoid the penalty of the law, yet he longed to return to his homeland, America.(3) He heard about the invisibility machine through some minions still living in New York. Kohl decided that invisibility would allow him to sneak back into America undetected.

    His minions stole the invisibility machine while Gibbs and Kitty Carroll were at Russell's upstate fishing cabin attempting to persuade Russell of the reality of invisibility. A scientist in Kohl's employ assembled it. It was tested on one of Kohl's henchman. However without the serum the only apparent effect it had on him was to make his deep voice into a falsetto. Kohl dispatched his minions to kidnap the professor. They also grabbed Kitty much to Russell's dismay, a romance had been blossoming between Russell and her hampered by the fact that it was taking so long for her invisibility to wear off. It had just done so when the gangsters invaded Russell's mansion. They knocked Russell unconscious, the manservant had already fainted. One of the henchmen, the one with the falsetto voice had been fired from the gang because of his falsetto voice. Kohl apparently took this as sign of a loss of masculinity. He offered to show Russell and the manservant George the whereabouts of Blackie Kohl's Mexican hideout. (4)

   Kitty and Professor Gibbs had been taken to an adobe walled hacienda building in a remote area. Kohl threatened to kill Kitty unless Gibbs successfully made him invisible. Kitty and Gibbs had the feeling that once the experiment was a success, they would not live long anyway. While the Professor diddled around with the machine Kitty drank some pure grain alcohol. She became invisible once more. She knocked out several of the gang and just about single handedly captured the Kohl gang, just as Russell arrived there to rescue her. She actually pretended that he rescued her from one or two of the gangsters.

    Because of its flaws, Gibb's invisibility machine was never marketed. However Frank Raymond uses his research in late 1939 and by Dr. Peter Drury later on at Project M (5). Richard Russell, despite not being able to invest in the invisibility machine, does not go financially bust because he and Kitty receive rewards and bounties for the capture of Blackie Kohl. Embittered by his capture and subsequent life term, Kohl actively worked with Bundists from his cell. He is able to steer the Bundists and their Nazi masters towards an invisibility formula he thought belonged to Gibbs. It is actually Frank Raymond's.

    Kitty Carroll and Richard Russell married and had a daughter, Susan born in 1939. (6)   She was shown to have inherited her mother's invisibility when rubbing alcohol on her body made her fade from sight. However she faded back a few seconds later. As the baby's body matured and the chemical similarities with her mother's biochemistry changed the invisibility factor seemed to have vanished. As for Kitty she discovered that after several years her body had readjusted itself so that cigarettes and alcohol no longer affected her by making her invisible. This had unfortunate circumstances.

    Kitty and Richard Russell's martial bliss was cut short when Russell went off to fight the war in 1941. He was killed in North Africa in 1942.

     While working as a volunteer nurse, Kitty Russell met and eventually married a Long Island Physician, Franklin Storm. Franklin Storm adopted little Susan. Kitty and Franklin had one child, Jonathan born 1944. Late one night, While driving home slightly inebriated from a cocktail party Kitty Carroll perished in a tragic automobile accident in 1953. Her daughter's latent innate invisible ability latter manifested as described here.

    Click here for a Griffin family tree graphic


KITTY CARROLL (The Invisible woman)

1. Dr. Lorenzo Cameron's experiments were fictionalized and filmed as the Mad Monster Part of his background is detailed in Hyde and Hair part one. Shown here is his relationship to another famous family

2. Caratacas Potts and his family's adventures were recorded in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming. The filmed version of these events demonstrated Potts inventive genius.

3.The United States was more than likely his adopted homeland. Blackie Cole spoke with a thick Germanic accent, his name was probably Kohl rather than Cole. His desire to get his hands on the invisibility formula and to return to the Unites States may not have been motivated by home sickness but rather due to a hidden allegiance to the Third Reich.

4.Kohls dismissal of his employee for perceived effeminate behavior and his choice of Mexico are also intriguing and also could provide further clues to his Nazi ties. The Nazi's had a great hatred for homosexuality as demonstrated by their incarceration and execution of homosexuals. This despite the fact or perhaps because of the fact that many of the early Nazi's were homosexual. Also Mexico was a recurrent German ally and was a focal point of Falange activity in Latin America. The Falange were Spanish fascists who had subsidiary Falange organizations in Latin America, Central America and the Philippines.

5.Project M was the secret war time secret soldier project mentioned in the Frank Griffin jr entry which coordinated in part the activities of the Invisible Man, the Unknown Soldier and the Creature Commandos

6. The child was a girl despite the depiction that it was a male in the filmed version of these events

Invisibles Timeline
1897 Invisible Man by H.G. Well (John Hawley Griffin. OIM Original Invisible Man)
1898 League of Extraordinary Men (John Hawley Griffin)
1922 Invisible Man (John (Jack) Griffin)
1929 Invisible Murderer with William Carpenter as the Invisible Man
1931 Invisible Man's Return (Frank Griffin----- with Geoffrey Radcliffe as the IM
1935 Invisible Man's Revenge  (Robert Griffin) the IM
1938 Invisible Woman (Kitty Caroll)
1942 (twenty years after Invisible Man) Invisible Agent (Frank Griffin a.k.a. Frank Raymond)
1948 Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Geoffrey Radcliffe IM)
1949 Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man(Tommy Nelson IM)
1966 Invisibility Affair Willard Morthley and Kerry Griffin inventors of the OTSMID (Omnidirectional Total Spectrum Molecular Interpenetration Device) which can render objects invisible
1974 Daniel Westin  becomes an Invisible Man
1998 Darien Fawkes surgically implanted with quicksilver gland to become an Invisible Man
1999 Sebastian Caine has a brief and deadly career as an Invisible Man as seen in The Hollow Man

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