Well, let me take a guess:
You accidentally opened the wrong catalog file. Look under File->Open Recent to see if any of the other catalogs shown there have your edits
Is there any chance you have a filter active that hides these images?
I finally reached someone at Lightroom. I found the images but my 5 star ratings are gone. I have no idea how this could have happened. It will cost me a good deal time reselecting my picks but at least the images are there. Ugh. I don't know how all of the edit rating stars could have disappeared. I would know if I had manually "demoted" the ratings. Thanks for your input out there.