Images guiding search for missing MH370 snapped by US satellite: Report

SYDNEY - When the Australian official took the podium to reveal to the world the discovery of satellite images that might show pieces of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370, he carefully omitted to tell them the source.

The images were from a US satellite, reported The Age, an Australian daily, on Thursday.

"As ever, Australian officialdom is hyper protective of US intelligence and its sources - even more protective than the Americans themselves," the Age report said. Australia and Malaysia have called the images a "credible" lead in the 13-day-old hunt for a missing passenger jet.

"We now have a credible lead," Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on Thursday during Malaysia's daily briefing on the crisis.

Australia has said the objects - one was estimated at 24 metres across - were captured in satellite imagery.

Several aircraft and ships have been deployed to the area about 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth where the grainy images were snapped.

The plane with 239 people aboard disappeared on March 8.