Australian authorities as high as the Prime Minister Tony Abbott claim to have spotted a large field of debris floating in the southern Indian Ocean more than a 1,400 miles off the southwest coast of Australia.

Word of caution, satellites have been wrong before about MH 370. And Australian authorities warn that their pictures, too, could end in a goose chase and disappointment.

“This is a lead,” a spokesman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority cautioned. But even he could not hold back words of optimism.

search planes dispatched to the remote spot so far have been unable to find the debri area amid rain, clouds and limited visibility Thursday afternoon.

“At least there is a credible lead,” Malaysia’s interim Transportation Secretary Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters. “That gives us hope. As long as there’s hope, we will continue.”

Angry families want answers
The lack of progress has angered and frustrated families, who have accused Malaysian officials of withholding information.

Some family members staged a protest Wednesday at the Kuala Lumpur hotel where members of the media covering the search are staying. Their efforts were cut short by security guards who removed them through a crush of reporters, dragging one as she screamed.

Sources: CNN, MSNBC and other US Media

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