The Daily Grind Video

Weeks of searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 have left investigators empty-handed, but this weekend, search teams ran into their “most promising lead” since the plane disappeared on March 8.

A ship in the Indian Ocean detected signals consistent with those sent by the aircraft’s black box locator, said the head of the Australian agency coordinating the search operation.

According to CNN:

The signals were picked up Sunday by the Ocean Shield, an Australian navy ship that’s towing a sophisticated U.S. pinger locator through an area about 1,750 kilometers (1,100 miles) northwest of Perth. The first detection lasted for more than two hours; a second lasted for about 13 minutes.

The sounds were heard in a part of the ocean that’s about 4,500 meters (about 14,800 feet) deep, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said Monday.

“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,” he said.

“We are encouraged that we are very close to where we need to be.”

Unfortunately, it could take days before officials can confirm whether the signals actually came from the plane and with the flight data recorder quickly losing power, time is of the essence.

“In very deep oceanic water, nothing happens fast,” Houston said. “I would ask all of you to treat this information cautiously and responsibly. … We haven’t found the aircraft yet.”

“We have a promising lead, but we have yet to get confirming evidence.”

At least one investigator has described the search not as finding a needle in a haystack, but rather trying to find the haystack.

“It’s very exciting, very exciting,” forensic audio expert Paul Ginsberg said Monday. “I think we have finally found the haystack.”

Still, family members of the 239 people aboard the missing flight aren’t hopeful about the latest lead.

“Until they physically locate the bulk of the plane with the black box intact and passenger bodies, I won’t believe it,” said Sarah Bajc, the partner of American passenger Philip Wood.

We’ll keep you updated on the latest in the search for the missing flight.