Authorities have spotted two objects in the Indian Ocean that are possibly related to the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Thursday.
"New and credible information has come to light in relation to the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean," Abbott said in the Australian House of Representatives in Canberra. "The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search.
"Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified," he said. "I can inform the House that a Royal Australian Air Force Orion has been diverted to attempt to locate the objects."
The announcement from Abbott raises hopes of finding parts of the plane after a huge search that is now in its 13th day. Previous reports of debris found in the sea have not turned out to be related to the passenger jet, which vanished over Southeast Asia earlier this month
"Verification might take some time. It is very far and it will take some time to locate and verify the objects," the source said.
President Barack Obama called the search for Flight 370 "a top priority," telling KDFW of Dallas on Wednesday that the United States will keep working on it.
"We have put every resource that we have available at the disposal of the search process," he said.
But beyond help with the computer drives, the Malaysian government has not put in a formal request for additional FBI help overseas, according to the senior U.S. official.
"We have made it clear we are ready to provide help whenever they need it," the official said. "We are grasping at straws. No one is running on anything white hot."
More than 60 ships and 50 aircraft are participating in the search. But at least two aircraft, a Japanese search plane and a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion, sat on a runway at a Subang air base this week after Indonesia refused to allow the planes to fly through its airspace.
"From what I understand, this is an international operation," Cmdr. William Marks, spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet, told CNN by telephone. "...I'm confident we're going to be flying today or very soon."
Later, Indonesia's military spokesman told CNN clearance was given to all search planes