Very Bizarre Data Loss

I recently spent an afternoon working on a model, when I suddenly encountered an unexplainable problem. I had Auto-save enabled, and set to five minutes. Throughout the afternoon, the model was being saved every five minutes, and more frequently if I wanted to be sure of not losing something difficult I had just done.
Late in the day, suddenly something happened, and all that was left of the screen was an unidentifiable object. I attempted multiple “re-dos” but got nowhere. So I shut the program down, and reloaded the model. To my astonishment, what come up was a version that had been saved much earlier in the afternoon. An extraordinary loss of data had occurred.
I performed a search of the hard drive to see if there was any other place the most recent update had been saved to. What I discovered was this:

I could not make any sense out of the multiple references to Room.skp (the model) but was relieved to discover the listing of the model in “RecoveredFiles”. When I tried to load the model I got this:

So I went to the folder itself, and, while there were many Sketchup files, the one being referenced was not there.
Has anyone out there ever experienced, or heard of anything like this? This is very scary. There appears to be no precaution one can take to safeguard against a catastrophic loss of a project. We all know that saving your work as you go is the “golden rule”. Well, it now appears to me that any work that I do is subject to being wiped out, without any recourse. I have to remind you that much of my earlier work that had been saved was there.
I have been working with CAD, and many software disciplines since 1989. I have been a beta site for a number of software companies, including IBM. I have experience many computer catastrophes over the years, but none that defied explanation. Does the blame go to Sketchup, Windows 10, Dell, or some combination? Most of all, what on earth happened?

You have a misunderstanding about the autosave function. It is not a substitute for saving. It saves temporary files to the defined autosave location but doesn’t interfere in any way with the original model file. If SketchUp crashes, the changes you have made can be reconstructed from the autosave files. If you quit SketchUp without saving, the autosave files are erased. The changes to your model file are written into it only when you save the file. I have turned autosave off, and try to remember saving often.

In the case where you’re seeing something very strange and want to abort in order to try the last auto save file, you would want to use Task Manager, and End Task SketchUp. Then the auto save file will still be around.

In addition to the auto save file there is the backup file. That is the same named file, but with .skb at the end instead of .skp, and it would be in the same folder. It does not get deleted when you do a normal quit.

So, search for Room.skb, and see if something more recent shows up. If it does, rename the file to include .skp at the end, and then open it.

As for what went wrong, it is possible to create something that is extremely far away, that can leave the scene looking like it has nothing in it. Doing Undo won’t fix the camera related issue, but showing a front view, and zoom extents might have done.

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However, I had been saving the model manually all throughout the afternoon. So what happened to what I had saved, keeping in mind that I had saved the model shortly before the loss?

Is the location where you save your model files in the cloud or is it automatically synced to the cloud? In these cases even small errors in the Internet datastream can cause data loss, especially with large files like yours seems to be.