Lightroom does not delete your photos on its own. Furthermore, your photos are not in the cloud.
They are located on one of your hard disks in the location you put them, or in the location you told Lightroom to put them.
So, did you use Finder to look in the folder you told Lightroom to copy the photos into?
I figured it out in the end. The problem was that the pictures that I could see that were in my Photos app were actually being stored in the cloud. I just had to download them to my computer one small batch at a time, because I don't have a ton of room on my Mac. Then I just use the Move option when I'm Importing. Thanks for your reply though.
DJ, try not to make incorrect assertions that can confuse newcomers.
Do you use a Mac or Photos??? Photos can store in iCloud.
Thanks Geoff. No worries. I appreciate that people are willing to donate their time, regardless of whether it always solves the problem. The whole thing is always like a giant ball of tangled yarn and just takes perseverance and a lot of help from people on these forums. I am always amazed and grateful how willing people are to help total strangers.