During his later career Brigadier General William Madison Garland became thoroughly involved in the UFO investigating project, first by providing staff supervision from the USAF Directorate of Intelligence, and later as Chief of the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He provided the main guidance under the Director of Intelligence, Major General Stamford, in setting up Project Blue Book. He should not be confused with his namesake, Brigadier General (later Major General) William C. Garland, who was involved with Project Blue Book and the UFO problem during his tenure in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force during the closing years of the project.
According to Edward Ruppelt’s notes:
Gen. Garland first got into the project early in the game. He was Deputy for Production [Assistant for Production, office symbol AFOIN-A] for General Stamford. He pushed the project and was the first ‘high gear’ to give support. He personally handled all the UFO business for Gen. Stamford. He later came out to ATIC as chief.
His interest stemmed from the fact that he had seen a UFO. When he was at Mather AFB [California] he and some other people were sitting in their yard one evening. They all saw this bright silvery, round, object. The Gen. said that it was going too fast for a balloon or an airplane. They sighted on it through some wires so they got a good idea of angular velocity. Three of the people who saw it were command pilots.”
Tom Tulien and Brad Sparks interviewed Mrs. Garland for the Sign Oral History Project.
She flatly denied that General Garland ever had a UFO sighting.
Ruppelt in several other places in his notes implies that Garland encouraged and pushed the LIFE magazine article, however the meeting documents at the Pentagon contradict that, unless Garland was secretly in contact with Ginna or LIFE outside official channels.
— Jan. L. Aldrich