IRDC.IR: Robert Huyser, a US 4-star General states about the day Shah escaped: "We heard some helicopters above us, so we knew Shah had left Niavaran palace for Mehrabad airport and their path was right above The Joint Chiefs of Staff. We went on the balcony instantly. Yes. It was Shah and his escorts. 6 helicopters, all heading to Mehrabad.
I calmly gave my suggestions, specifically about keeping the armed forces all ready, but my heartbeat was rising every moment.
We turned the tv on in Qarebaqi's office and waited for the show to start. They were speaking of memorable days of Shah's era, and where he had gone the wrong way. They felt like Shah has lost his will and he hadn't been using his authority. It was the first time I was hearing such words from them.
Getting closer to the time of flight, the excitement was increasing not only in our office, but also on tv and streets.
With the Royal Gaurd - elites of armed forces - settled around the airport, it was planned to keep people away from Mehrabad airport's area. Due to Anti-Shah emotions on the streets, the probability of an explosion, putting everything in danger was high.
Getting closer to the time of the flight, Shah himself had gotten very emotional too. Maybe he was thinking that wether there was going to be a return from this trip or not.
I doubted that he actually had accepted the failure, but many people thought that with plane's take off, he would lose the throne.
When Shah left, it seemed like a starting gun shot. Suddenly the whole city exploded with happiness and relief. demonstrators had come to the streets and the whole city were celebrating. This was hard to explain. People's spontaneous celebration lasted for 2-3 hours. We got reports that people had started to take down statues of Shah and his family. Across from the telecommunications office in Sepah square, there was a big beautiful statue of Reza Shah on horseback that people took it down. We were told that 5-6 other decades-old statues were destroyed. Actually they were killing Shah symbolically.
Translated by: Roya Jalali