Australian Prime minister Tony Abbott told Parliament Thursday that ‘new and credible information has come to light’ based on satellite images.
Abbott announced that two objects, possibly related to the search for the missing Malaysian airliner, have been spotted in the Southern Indian Ocean.
Officials sent an Orion aircraft to the area to try and locate the objects and it is expected to arrive in the area Thursday afternoon, Abbott said in an appearance before the Australian Parliament in Canberra.
Australian officials are expected to speak publicly on the development shortly.
Here is a report on the news out of China.
The New York Times reports that “the objects were about 2,500 kilometers, or about 1,550 miles, southwest of Perth.
After Mr. Abbott made his statement, Mr. Najib also issued a statement, saying that the two leaders had spoken about the sighting. But after nearly two weeks of almost daily hopes that brightened and then dimmed, Mr. Najib urged caution.
“Australian officials have yet to establish whether these objects are indeed related” to the missing plane, he said in the emailed statement.
Lisa Martin, a spokeswoman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, said: “There is imagery that suggests that there could be an object. At this stage it is an object in the southern part of the search area.
The air search for the floating objects possibly from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane ended Thursday without success, but will resume in the morning. It is considered by officials to be the best lead, so far.
The four planes were checking to see if two large objects spotted in satellite imagery bobbing in the remote ocean were debris from Fight 370 that disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board.
One of the objects was 24 meters (almost 80 feet) in length and the other was 5 meters (15 feet). There could be other objects in the area, a four-hour flight from Australia’s southwestern coast, said John Young, manager of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s emergency response division.
“This is a lead, it’s probably the best lead we have right now,” Young said. He cautioned that the objects could be seaborne debris along a shipping route where containers can fall off cargo vessels, although the larger object is longer than a container.
Another interesting possibility (or as some would call it – wild specuception) was explored by CNN’s Don Lemon.