I woke up this morning with an inbox full of ideas for recovering my photos that I posted I had lost yesterday. Thank you all for the advice. I actually downloaded a data recovery program this morning and when I went to access the card found the photos were still there. I told Aperture to delete them yesterday and I had just assumed it did. I guess Aperture was acting funny on several levels.
Either way, everything is back and being backed up as I write this. The best part of these hijinx however was the excellent emails and offers of help in my inbox this morning. Thank you all!