BIG FLIGHT 370 UPDATE: Two more pings, Aussies may have located black boxes

The Australian government, which is in charge of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, just held a press conference (at around 1100pm Eastern US time Tuesday night) that contained some big and optimistic news.

Angus Houston, the Australian chief coordinator of the search, says they’ve heard two additional pings in the past 24 hours, in addition to the earlier two pings that were heard on Sunday.

One of the new pings was held for five minutes, the other for seven minutes.

Houston say that the signals will now help them define a “much more manageable search area.”

“Hopefully in a matter of days we will be able to find something on the bottom that might confirm that this is the last resting place of MH370,” Houston said.

Malaysian Airlines 777-200ER. (Credit Montague Smith.)

Malaysian Airlines 777-200ER. (Credit Montague Smith.)

Houston also report that the pings are “not of natural origin,” they’re likely electronic, and they’re consistent with a flight data recorder.

Houston said he’s confident that they’ll find the wreckage “in the not too distant future.”

CNN’s analysts are saying that this means the Australians now know where the plane is.

We reported yesterday that two pings were heard on Sunday, for a period of nearly two hours, and then for an additional 13 minutes.  It was widely thought that those pings were from Flight 370’s black boxes.  But there was concern that the batteries would soon be dead, as it’s now been 33 days or so since the plane disappeared, and the black boxes have an expected battery life of 30 days (and even that depends on how well the black boxes were stored prior to use).

This is big news.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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