Ships race to investigate signals in jet search

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Ships race to investigate signals in jet search
Relatives of Chinese passengers from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 offer prayers at Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur on March 1, 2015. The visit to the temple comes nearly a year after Malaysian Airlines MH370 went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board in March 2014. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A relative of one of the Chinese passengers from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries before offering prayers at Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur on March 1, 2015. The visit to the temple comes nearly a year after Malaysian Airlines MH370 went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board in March 2014. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Relative of Chinese passengers from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries as he gathers outside Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's office in Putrajaya on February 18, 2015. Chinese relatives of MH370 passengers gathered outside the Malaysian prime minister's office to demand his government rescind its declaration that all on board the plane were presumed dead. AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Relatives of Chinese passengers from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 offer prayers at Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur on March 1, 2015. The visit to the temple comes nearly a year after Malaysian Airlines MH370 went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board in March 2014. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Relatives of Chinese passengers from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, cries during a protest outside the Malaysia Airlines office in Subang on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on February 12, 2015. Chinese relatives of passengers on missing flight MH370 protested outside the Malaysian Airlines office demanding Malaysia withdraw the statement that all the passengers are dead. About 15 people gathered outside the gates wearing white caps and red t-shirts with words: 'Pray for MH370.' AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A relative of one of the Chinese passengers from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries before offering prayers at Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur on March 1, 2015. The visit to the temple comes nearly a year after Malaysian Airlines MH370 went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board in March 2014. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Unidentified Chinese family members of passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 pray outside the prime minister's office in Putrajaya, Malaysia on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. Flight 370, which disappeared last March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, off western Australia. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)
FILE - In this April 9, 2014 file photo provided by the Australian Defense Force, a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion flies past Australian Defense vessel Ocean Shield on a mission to drop sonar buoys to assist in the acoustic search of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. Crews will resume the underwater hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 at the end of the month, and will begin the search in an area farther south than initially planned, a senior search official said Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/ADF, LSIS Bradley Darvill, File) EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Malaysian government says the plane is believed to have went down in a remote area of the Indian Ocean and everyone on board was killed.
Jacquita Gomes, second from left, wife of in-flight supervisor Patrick Gomes aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, wipes her tears during the opening of the MH370 Tribute Photo Exhibition organized by the Foreign Correspondents Club of Malaysia at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 6, 2014. A Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on March 8 carrying 239 people lost contact over the South China Sea on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)
A man looks at photos at the MH370 Tribute Photo Exhibition organized by the Foreign Correspondents Club of Malaysia at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 6, 2014. A Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on March 8 carrying 239 people lost contact over the South China Sea on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
In this June 15, 2014 photo, Hu Xiufang, front center, whose only child, daughter-in-law, and grandson, are missing along with other passengers on board the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, burns incense as she prays with some other relatives of the missing passengers, on the 100th day after the flight went missing, at the Lama Temple in Beijing. Chinese characters on their T-shirts read: "Pray for MH370. Come home safely." The absence of proof of death has made any closure elusive for the relatives of the 239 men and women on the plane. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
In this June 15, 2014 photo, relatives of Chinese passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 cry as they burn incense to pray for their loved ones, on the 100th day after the flight went missing, at the Lama Temple in Beijing. Chinese characters on their T-shirts read: "Pray for MH370. Come home safely." The absence of proof of death has made any closure elusive for the relatives of the 239 men and women on the plane. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
One of the relatives of Chinese passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, burns incense as she prays for her loved one after the flight went missing for 100 days at the Lama Temple in Beijing, China, Sunday, June 15, 2014. Despite a massive air and sea search, no trace of Flight 370 has been found, more than three months after it vanished after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing. Chinese characters on her T-shirt read: "Pray for MH370. Come Home Safely." (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
Relatives of Chinese passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 burn incense as they pray for their loved ones after the flight went missing for 100 days, at the Lama Temple in Beijing, China, Sunday, June 15, 2014. Despite a massive air and sea search, no trace of Flight 370 has been found, more than three months after it vanished after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing. Chinese characters on their T-shirts read "Pray for MH370. Come Home Safely." (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
Chinese police men stand near a board with well wishes written by relatives of Chinese passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane at a hotel in Beijing, China, Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Malaysian authorities on Tuesday in Beijing played for the first time the audio communications between flight 370's cockpit and air traffic controllers before the plane disappeared March 8.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
A banner is displayed during a candlelight vigil for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, April 7, 2014. An Australian ship detected two distinct, long-lasting sounds underwater that are consistent with the pings from aircraft black boxes in a major break in the month long hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, the search coordinator said Monday. The banner reads " Awaiting for MH370" (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Malaysians gather during a candlelight vigil for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, April 7, 2014. An Australian ship detected two distinct, long-lasting sounds underwater that are consistent with the pings from aircraft black boxes in a major break in the month long hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, the search coordinator said Monday. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Relatives of Chinese passengers on board the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 light candles in a prayer room in Beijing, China, Friday, April 4, 2014. Two ships with sophisticated equipment for searching underwater zeroed in Friday on a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean in a desperate hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet's black boxes, whose batteries will soon run out. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Malaysian activists hold banners during a protest accusing US news channels of unprofessional reporting on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, outside the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on April 3, 2014. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak vowed on April 3 'we will not rest' until the fate of Flight MH370 is known, as Australia called it 'the most difficult search in human history'. AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Malaysian activists hold banners during a protest accusing US news channels of unprofessional reporting on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, outside the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on April 3, 2014. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak vowed on April 3 'we will not rest' until the fate of Flight MH370 is known, as Australia called it 'the most difficult search in human history'. AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 04: Chief Coordinator of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston (Ret'd) addresses the media at press conference at Dumas House on April 4, 2014 in Perth, Australia. Fourteen planes and nine ships resumed in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia today. The airliner disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew on board and is suspected to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, second right, and Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott, right, greet RAAF P-3 Orion crew members involved in the search for wreckage and debris of missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 in Perth, Australia, Thursday, April 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool)
Malaysian activists hold banners during a protest accusing US news channels of unprofessional reporting on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, outside the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on April 3, 2014. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak vowed on April 3 'we will not rest' until the fate of Flight MH370 is known, as Australia called it 'the most difficult search in human history'. AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo taken Saturday, March 22, 2014, a relative of Chinese passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines, MH370, presents a slideshow showing a map of the route the missing plane took at a hotel meeting room in Beijing, China. The words on top reads "2. About the issue of time" . (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Captain of the Japan Coast Guard Gulfstream Makoto Hoshi left, and his co-pilot Shunichi Yumiza sit in the cockpit during a search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Southern Indian Ocean, near Australia, Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Bad weather and poor visibility caused the search to be called off early with the coast guard plane only completing one of its three 210 nautical mile legs. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool)
Communications specialist Hidetaka Sato, on a Japan Coast Guard Gulfstream aircraft, looks out of a window searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean on April 1, 2014. Malaysia revealed the full radio communications with the pilots of its missing flight on April 1, but the routine exchanges shed no light on the mystery as an Indian Ocean search for wreckage bore on with no end in sight. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Rob GRIFFITH (Photo credit should read ROB GRIFFITH/AFP/Getty Images)
Page 1 of the full transcript of communications between flight MH370 and Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control released by the Malaysian defense minister on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
Page 2 of the full transcript of communications between flight MH370 and Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control released by the Malaysian defense minister on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
A picture taken off a computer monitor shows a piece of unknown debris floating just under the water that was spotted by a Royal New Zealand P-3 Orion while searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, Monday, March 31, 2014. The Orion crew could not identify the object and has sent images of it for analysis to the Rescue Coordination Center and Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).(AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool)
A shadow of a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion aircraft is seen on low cloud cover while it searches for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, Monday, March 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool)
In this image taken onboard a Royal New Zealand P-3 Orion, a piece of unknown debris floats just under the water while the plane was searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 , in the southern Indian Ocean, Australia, Monday, March 31, 2014. The Orion crew could not identify the object and has sent images of it for analysis to the Rescue Coordination Center and Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool)
A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3 Orion's co-pilot and Squadron Leader Brett McKenzie controls the pane while searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, Monday, March 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
A towed pinger locator sits on the wharf at the naval base HMAS Stirling ready to be fitted to the Defence ship Ocean Shield to aid in her roll in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. An Australian warship with an aircraft black box detector was set to depart Sunday to join the search. It will still take three to four days for the ship, the Ocean Shield, to reach the search zone ? an area roughly the size of Poland about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) to the west of Australia.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
A towed pinger locator sits on the wharf ready to be fitted to the defense ship Ocean Shield to aid in her roll in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. An Australian warship with the aircraft black box detector was set to depart Sunday to join the search. It will still take three to four days for the ship, the Ocean Shield, to reach the search zone ? an area roughly the size of Poland about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) to the west of Australia. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
U.S. Navy captain Mark Matthews, right, Royal Australian Navy commodore Peter Leavy, center, and chief of the navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs stand on the dock before a press conference at naval base HMAS Stirling about the defense ship Ocean Shield and her roll in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
Chief of the Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs speak at a press conference at naval base HMAS Stirling about the defense ship Ocean Shield and her roll in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. An Australian warship with an aircraft black box detector was set to depart Sunday to join the search. It will still take three to four days for the ship, the Ocean Shield, to reach the search zone ? an area roughly the size of Poland about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) to the west of Australia.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
A U.S. naval officer talks with a crewman as they stand next to part of the towed pinger locator before its fitted to the defense ship Ocean Shield to aid in her roll in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. An Australian warship with an aircraft black box detector was set to depart Sunday to join the search. It will still take three to four days for the ship, the Ocean Shield, to reach the search zone ? an area roughly the size of Poland about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) to the west of Australia.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
U.S. Navy captain Mark Matthews, right, Royal Australian Navy commodore Peter Leavy, center, and Chief of the Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs chat before a press conference at naval base HMAS Stirling about the defense ship Ocean Shield and her roll in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. An Australian warship with an aircraft black box detector was set to depart Sunday to join the search. It will still take three to four days for the ship, the Ocean Shield, to reach the search zone ? an area roughly the size of Poland about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) to the west of Australia.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
Master of the Ocean Shield Captain Nicholas Woods speaks about the roll his ship will play in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. An Australian warship with an aircraft black box detector was set to depart Sunday to join the search. It will still take three to four days for the ship, the Ocean Shield, to reach the search zone ? an area roughly the size of Poland about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) to the west of Australia. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
U.S. Navy captain Mark Matthews speaks at a press conference at naval base HMAS Stirling about the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. An Australian warship with an aircraft black box detector was set to depart Sunday to join the search. It will still take three to four days for the ship, the Ocean Shield, to reach the search zone ? an area roughly the size of Poland about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) to the west of Australia.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
Australian Defense ship Ocean Shield lies docked at naval base HMAS Stirling while being fitted with a towed pinger locator to aid in her roll in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. The Australian warship with an aircraft black box detector was set to depart Sunday to join the search. It will still take three to four days for the ship, the Ocean Shield, to reach the search zone ? an area roughly the size of Poland about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) to the west of Australia.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
A sensor for the towed pinger locator sits on the wharf at the naval base HMAS Stirling ready to be fitted to the defense ship Ocean Shield to aid in her roll in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. The Australian warship with an aircraft black box detector was set to depart Sunday to join the search. It will still take three to four days for the ship, the Ocean Shield, to reach the search zone ? an area roughly the size of Poland about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) to the west of Australia. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
Australian defense ship Ocean Shield lies docked at naval base HMAS Stirling while being fitted with a towed pinger locator to aid in her roll in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. The Australian warship with an aircraft black box detector was set to depart Sunday to join the search. It will still take three to four days for the ship, the Ocean Shield, to reach the search zone ? an area roughly the size of Poland about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) to the west of Australia. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
A towed pinger locator sits on the wharf ready to be fitted to the defense ship Ocean Shield to aid in her roll in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. The Australian warship with an aircraft black box detector was set to depart Sunday to join the search. It will still take three to four days for the ship, the Ocean Shield, to reach the search zone ? an area roughly the size of Poland about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) to the west of Australia.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
U.S. Navy captain Mark Matthews holds up part of the towed pinned locator as he speaks at a press conference at naval base HMAS Stirling about the defense ship Ocean Shield and her roll in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. The towed pinned locator is designed to locate the ping signal emitted by the black box onboard aircraft and authorities hope it will aid in the search for MH370.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
Malaysian officials show Chinese relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 the new search area at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing on March 28, 2014. Relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have demanded China mount its own inquiry into the disappearance, a letter shows. The document, sent to Beijing's special envoy in Kuala Lumpur, denounced Malaysia's handling of the search and asked the Chinese government to set up its own 'investigation office'. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo posted to Twitter by China's CCTVNEWS of an object spotted and photographed in the new Flight MH370 search area on Friday, March 28, 2014.

The tweet read:

Picture: suspicious object spotted by New Zealand military plane on Friday. #MH370 http://t.co/KWCt1zrv2k

INDIAN OCEAN - This handout Satellite image made available by the AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority) shows a map of the new search area in the Indian Ocean for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 on March 28, 2014. The revised search area, 680 miles to the north of previous searches, comes after a new radar analysis suggests the jetliner may have run out of fuel sooner than first believed.
Messages from schoolchildren to Chinese relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing on March 28, 2014. Relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have demanded China mount its own inquiry into the disappearance, a letter shows. The document, sent to Beijing's special envoy in Kuala Lumpur, denounced Malaysia's handling of the search and asked the Chinese government to set up its own 'investigation office'. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
In this imagery taken by the Thaichote satellite on March 24, 2014 and released March 27, 2014 by Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), a part of about 300 objects floating in the Indian Ocean near the search area for the missing jetliner are shown. Anond Snidvongs, director of Thailand's space technology development agency, said the images showed "300 objects of various sizes" in the southern Indian Ocean about 2,700 kilometers (1,675 miles) southwest of Perth, Australia. (AP Photo/Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency)
A navigation screen used by pilots aboard a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft shows their current location represented by a white circle during a search operation of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean, Thursday, March 27, 2014. Planes and ships searching for debris suspected of being from the downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner failed to find any Thursday before bad weather cut their hunt short in a setback that came as Thailand said its satellite had spotted even more suspect objects. (AP Photo/Michael Martina, Pool)
A representative of relatives of Chinese passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, center, makes an announcement to journalists prior to a briefing with Malaysian officials at a hotel in Beijing, China, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. About two-thirds of the missing, 239 people onboard, are Chinese, and their relatives have lashed out at Malaysia for essentially declaring their family members dead without any physical evidence of the plane's remains. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
A Pilatus PC-9/A comes in for a landing at RAAF Base Pearce in Perth, Australia, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. RAAF Pearce is accommodating six nation that have joined forces Australia, New Zealand the US, Japan and Korea making this join venture one of the largest maritime search operations in history to find debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 .(AP Photo/Rob Griffith/Pool)
Malaysian Minister of Defence and Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein shows pictures of possible debris during his statement on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at the Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur on March 26, 2014. Malaysia drew criticism on March 25 for its announcement that the missing passenger jet had been lost at sea, even before any wreckage was found. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force AP-3C Orion arrives back at RAAF Base Peace at Bullsbrook, some 35 kms north of Perth after continuing the search for debris or wreckage of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean, on March 26, 2014. Six countries have joined the search for the missing plane believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ROB GRIFFITH (Photo credit should read ROB GRIFFITH/AFP/Getty Images)
This graphic released by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency on Wednesday March 26, 2014, shows satellite imagery taken on March 23, 2014, with the approximate positions of objects seen floating in the southern Indian Ocean in the search zone for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday that a satellite has captured images of 122 objects close to where three other satellites previously detected objects. (AP Photo/Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency)
This graphic released by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, shows the approximate position of objects seen floating in the southern Indian Ocean in the search zone for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday that a satellite has captured images of 122 objects close to where three other satellites previously detected objects. (AP Photo/Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency)
Lt. Gen. Ackbal Abdul Samad, Malaysian Air Force Air Operation Commander, answers a question from relatives of Chinese passengers on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, while the projection shows a graphic of the flight's possible crash area, during a briefing meeting at a hotel in Beijing, China, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. The search of the missing Malaysian airliner resumed Wednesday after fierce winds and high waves forced crews to take a break Tuesday. A total of 12 planes and five ships from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand were participating in the search, hoping to find even a single piece of the jet that could offer tangible evidence of a crash and provide clues to find the rest of the wreckage. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
In this Monday, March 24, 2014 photo, a crew member on board an RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft looks at a radar screen whilst searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean. After 17 days of desperation and doubt over the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, Malaysian officials on Monday said an analysis of satellite data points to a "heartbreaking" conclusion: Flight 370 met its end in the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean, and none of those aboard survived. (AP Photo/Richard Wainwright, Pool)
A Malaysia Airlines plane (below) prepares to go onto the runway and pass by a stationary Chinese Ilyushin 76 aircraft (top) at Perth International Airport on March 25, 2014. Wild weather halted the search on March 25 for wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines jet that crashed into the Indian Ocean, frustrating attempts to determine why it veered off course and bring closure to grieving relatives. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Greg WOOD (Photo credit should read GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this March 25, 2014 file photo, Australia's Defense Minister David Johnston, center, speaks to the media about developments in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in Perth, Australia. Not one object has been recovered from the missing airliner that Malaysian officials are now convinced plunged into the southern Indian Ocean 17 days ago. Australian Defense Minister Johnston said, ?The turning point for us, I think, will be when we pull some piece of debris from the surface of the ocean and positively identify it as being part of the aircraft.? (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak , left, and acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein speak during the press conference for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, MH370, at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, March 24, 2014. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says a new analysis of satellite data indicates the missing Malaysia Airlines plane plunged into a remote corner of the Indian Ocean. The news is a major breakthrough in the unprecedented two-week struggle to find out what happened to Flight 370, which disappeared shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew aboard on March 8. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks during the press conference for the missing Malaysia Airline, MH370 at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, March 24, 2014. Razak says new data show missing plane plunged into southern Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Updated search map in hunt for missing Flight MH370 on Monday, March 24, 2014.
A ground controller guides a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion to rest after sunset upon its return from a search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean, at the Royal Australian Air Force base Pearce in Perth, Monday, March 24, 2014. Satellite images released by Australia and China had earlier identified possible debris in an area that may be linked to the disappearance of the flight on March 8 with 239 people aboard. (AP Photo/Jason Reed, Pool)
Maps show search areas for missing Malaysia Airlines missing jet.
Satellite image shared with Australian officials by China in the search for Flight MH370 on Saturday, March 22, 2014.
A ground controller guides a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion to rest after sunset upon its return from a search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean, at the Royal Australian Air Force base Pearce in Perth, Monday, March 24, 2014. Satellite images released by Australia and China had earlier identified possible debris in an area that may be linked to the disappearance of the flight on March 8 with 239 people aboard. (AP Photo/Jason Reed, Pool)
Mike Barton, rescue coordination chief, right, shows Australia's Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, the map of the Indian Ocean search areas at the rescue coordination center of Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra, Sunday, March 23, 2014. Planes and ships scrambled Sunday to find a pallet and other debris in a remote patch of the southern Indian Ocean to determine whether the objects were from the Malaysia Airlines jet that has been missing for more than two weeks. (AP Photo/Graham Tidy, Pool)
Mike Barton, rescue coordination chief, left, looks over the maps of the Indian Ocean with Alan Lloyd, manager of search and rescue operations at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's rescue coordination center in Canberra, March 23. 2014. Planes and a ship scrambled Sunday to find a pallet and other debris in a remote patch of the southern Indian Ocean to determine whether the objects were from the Malaysia Airlines jet that has been missing for more than two weeks.(AP Photo/Graham Tidy, Pool)
A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force P-3C Orion takes off from the Royal Australian Air Force Pearce Base to commence a search for possible debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in Perth, Australia, Monday, March 24, 2014. Satellite images released by Australia and China had earlier identified possible debris in an area that may be linked to the disappearance of the flight on March 8 with 239 people aboard. (AP Photo/Paul Kane, Pool)
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's P-3C Orion aircraft sits on the tarmac after arriving at Royal Australian Air Force Pearce Base to help with search operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool)
A woman walks past a message board for passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, March 23, 2014. Planes and ships scrambled Sunday to find a pallet and other debris in a remote patch of the southern Indian Ocean to determine whether the objects were from the Malaysia Airlines jet that has been missing for more than two weeks. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
A Chinese woman takes a photo of a message board set up by relatives of passengers from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 24, 2014. Ships and planes from several nations swarmed over the southern Indian Ocean on March 24 as mounting evidence of floating debris energised the search for Malaysia's missing passenger jet. AFP PHOTO/GOH CHAI HIN (Photo credit should read GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Australia's deputy prime minister said the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 cannot go on forever, and discussions are already under way between Australia, China and Malaysia as to whether to call off the hunt within weeks. No trace has been found of the Boeing 777 aircraft, which disappeared a year ago this week carrying 239 passengers and crew, in what has become one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.
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PERTH, Australia (AP) - Underwater sounds detected by a ship searching the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet are consistent with the pings from aircraft black boxes, an Australian official said Monday, dubbing it "a most promising lead" in the month long hunt for the vanished plane.

Angus Houston, the head of a joint agency coordinating the search, warned that it could take days to confirm whether the signals picked up by the Australian navy ship Ocean Shield are indeed from the black boxes that belonged to Flight 370, but called the discovery very encouraging.

"Clearly this is a most promising lead, and probably in the search so far, it's probably the best information that we have had," Houston said at a news conference.

"We've got a visual indication on a screen and we've also got an audible signal - and the audible signal sounds to me just like an emergency locator beacon."

After a monthlong search for answers filled with dead ends, Monday's news brought fresh hope given that the two black boxes, which contain flight data and cockpit voice recordings, are the key to unraveling exactly what happened to Flight 370 and why.

There was little time left to locate the devices, which have beacons that emit "pings" so they can be more easily found. The beacons' batteries last only about a month - and Tuesday marks exactly one month since the plane disappeared during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people on board.

The Australian navy's Ocean Shield, which is carrying high-tech sound detectors from the U.S. Navy, picked up two separate signals late Saturday night and early Sunday morning within a remote patch of the Indian Ocean far off the west Australian coast that search crews have been crisscrossing for weeks. The first signal lasted two hours and 20 minutes before it was lost. The ship then turned around and picked up a signal again - this time recording two distinct "pinger returns" that lasted 13 minutes, Houston said.

"Significantly, this would be consistent with transmissions from both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder," Houston said.

Still, Houston cautioned that it was too early to say the transmissions were coming from the missing jet.

"I would want more confirmation before we say this is it," he said. "Without wreckage, we can't say it's definitely here. We've got to go down and have a look."

The airliner's black boxes normally emit a frequency of 37.5 kilohertz, and the signals picked up by the Ocean Shield were both 33.3 kilohertz, said U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Matthews. But officials contacted the device's manufacturer and were told the frequency of black boxes can drift near the end of their shelf lives.

The Ocean Shield was slowly canvassing a small area trying to find the signal again, though that could take another day, Matthews said.

"It's like playing hot and cold when you're searching for something and someone's telling you you're getting warmer and warmer and warmer," he said. "When you're right on top of it you get a good return."

If they pick up the signal again, the crew will launch an underwater vehicle to investigate, Matthews said. The Bluefin-21 autonomous sub can create a sonar map of the area to chart where the debris may lie on the sea floor. If it maps out a debris field, the crew will replace the sonar system with a camera unit to photograph any wreckage.

But that may prove tricky, given that the sub can only dive to about 4,500 meters (14,800 feet) - the approximate depth of the water. That means the vehicle will be operating to the limits of its capability.

Given the difficulties involved, officials warned the mystery of Flight 370 would still take time to resolve.

"It could take some days before the information is available to establish whether these detections can be confirmed as being from MH370," Houston said. "In very deep oceanic water, nothing happens fast."

Geoff Dell, discipline leader of accident investigation at Central Queensland University in Australia, said it would be "coincidental in the extreme" for the sounds to have come from anything other than an aircraft's black box.

"If they have a got a legitimate signal, and it's not from one of the other vessels or something, you would have to say they are within a bull's roar," he said. "There's still a chance that it's a spurious signal that's coming from somewhere else and they are chasing a ghost, but it certainly is encouraging that they've found something to suggest they are in the right spot."

Meanwhile, the British ship HMS Echo, was using sophisticated sound-locating equipment to try to determine whether two separate sounds heard by a Chinese ship about 555 kilometers (345 miles) away from the Ocean Shield were related to the plane. The patrol vessel Haixun 01 detected a brief "pulse signal" on Friday and a second signal on Saturday.

The crew of the Chinese ship reportedly picked up the signals using a sonar device called a hydrophone dangled over the side of a small boat - something experts said was technically possible but extremely unlikely. The equipment aboard the British and Australian ships is dragged slowly behind each vessel over long distances and is considered far more sophisticated.

The search effort was also continuing on the ocean surface Monday. Twelve planes and 14 ships were searching three designated zones, one of which overlaps with the Ocean Shield's underwater search. All of the previous surface searches have found only fishing equipment or other sea trash floating in the water, but have found no debris related to the Malaysian plane.



MH370 Search: New Pings Offer 'Best Lead So Far'
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