1-The footage was close to the beginning of the tape and I have gone Rewinded and fast forwarded it numerous times and nothing.
2-I am sure I did not skip ahead anyways after I watched it.
3-Has this happened to anyone else?
4-could there be a switch in the wrong place? the tape looks fine.
I will first assume that you are actually looking at the correct tape.
(Are you SURE you didn't change tapes after playing it the first time?)
1-You are likely mistaken about that.
2-See answer #1.
Here's what you should do:
Rewind the tape all the way.
Hit PLAY and simply watch the tape all the way through.
When you find the footage you're looking for, write down its Timecode.
It is my GUESS that you inadvertently recorded this footage well into the tape (not near the beginning.)
It might be PAST some of what looks like "nothing" (blank section of tape.)