Search chief Angus Houston told reporters Monday in Perth the development during the past day is the “most promising lead” so far in the search for the Boeing 777 in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia.
He emphasized that further confirmation is needed, which could take days, but he described the information picked up by the U.S. Navy ping detector as “very encouraging.”
Houston said the detector towed by the Australian ship Ocean Shield had contact that lasted two hours and 20 minutes, followed by another contact of 13 minutes. He said this would be “consistent with transmissions from both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.”
Once a general position of the latest signals is confirmed, he said, an underwater autonomous vehicle can be sent to investigate.
On Sunday, officials said three distinct but fleeting sounds were heard from the depths of the Indian Ocean.
That followed sounds heard by a Chinese ship on both Friday and Saturday in a different section of the search area.