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TODAY   |  March 20, 2014

Possible Flight 370 debris spotted in Indian Ocean

Satellite images reveal two large objects in the southern Indian Ocean that could be pieces of debris of the missing flight. The area is being scoured by air and sea. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> everybody is talking about these two satellite images and the fact that it was the australian prime minister who told the world about them adds significant to this.

>> australian officials are saying this possibly is the best lead we had. we want to show you the images we're talking about. they're about 1500 miles southwest off australia. you see those objects on or perhaps just under the surface of the indian ocean . that's what investigator res focs are focusing on.

>> good morning, savannah. malaysians say these images appear to be credible. the largest is about 79 feet across. the wing span of a 777 is about 200 feet. the tail is about 60 feet. this sass far south as we would have expected to have any debris, way down here from kuala lumpur . it is about three hours or so southwest of perth, australia. now we're looking at the search zone that's ntsb had identified as a possible area of interest. we had an australian mistaken in there today, a u.s. p8 in there for several hours. they used sophisticated radar but they found nothing. now more planes are scheduled to return to the search area. the australian prime minister made the dramatic announcement in parliament.

>> i would like to inform the house that new and credible information has come to light in relation to the search for malaysia airlines flight mh-370 in the southern indian ocean . images captured by satellite may be pieces of malaysian flight 370, missing since the early hours of march 8th when it disappeared from radar screen with 239 people on board. military radar later suggested it made a u-turn out into the indian ocean . then those mysterious pings telling us it might have traveled thousands of miles. now evidence the plane might have flown as far south as possible. the maritime authorities, john young .

>> this is a lead. it is probably the best lead we have right now, but we need to get there, find them, see them, assess them to know whether it's meaningful or not.

>> military search planes have now been sent to an area about 1550 miles southwest of perth. the australian prime minister contacted his malaysian counterparts with the news.

>> we have been following every single lead. this time, i just hope that it is positive development.

>> every lead is a hope. and we want to --

>> if the wreckage is found, searchers hope to eventually find the black boxes . one of the two men who found the air france black boxes after two years in the atlantic says it won't be easy.

>> it may seem fairley strout forward. but when you get out there on a ship, the world becomes very large, that ocean does, and the plane becomes very small. so when you're in the thick of it, you can see how easy it can be to miss something.

>> time is slipping away. they've got only 17 days until the batteries on those under water locating pingers run out. if the plane is in this area, it could be into -- in, rather, 10,000 to 16,000 feet of water. it is very deep there. it's very cold. an australian naval ship is now en route to this area, but it is going to take some time, not until sunday. and a c-130 hurricane el hercules plan pla ns to drop a marker in here. we're talking about very rough conditions, nine-foot seas, 25 knot winds, poor visibility. that means if this wreckage is from the plane, it must have already floated hundreds of miles.