Ships investigate signals reported in jet search

PERTH, Australia - Authorities are working to confirm the find but say that underwater sounds detected by a ship searching the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet are consistent with pings from aircraft black boxes.

U.S. Navy equipment has twice picked up signals consistent with the pings from aircraft black boxes.

Australian official call the development "very encouraging."

Angus Houston, the head of a joint agency coordinating the search, says confirmation could still be days away but the discovery is promising.

Malaysia's defense minister says he's "cautiously hopeful" that there will be positive developments in the next few days, "if not hours," in the search for the missing airliner.