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Trying to recall a book series

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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone might be able to help me recall a book series that I read several years ago. I don't even remember the author but I do remember the general storyline.

 

The character is walking and runs into a light which turns out to be a portal. He walks into it or in some way or another gets into it and is transported to what initially seems like the distant past. Eventually he runs into some natives and they take him in and teach him the language. Eventually he runs across and piece of glass that says United States Air Force (maybe a different branch, I am not sure) and he comes to the conclusion that he is actually in the future. Come to find out, there had been a world war that wiped out most of the population. Eventually he runs into someone who is a leader of some sort, and after talking with him it seems that this leader also encountered the same portal that the main character did and (I believe) has seen it since but has no desire to return.

 

I believe that someone, was actually working on finding another way back or at least of communicating with the time period from which the main character came.

 

The memory of this book or series (I really don't remember if it is a single book or not) just came to me out of the blue and I would love to read it again. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you

 

Edit:

By "encountered the same portal," I mean that this leader is also from the past (before the war) but I do not think he waned to go back for some reason.

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I have sent the post on to my friend who reads the most sci-fi/time travel. I will let you know if she has any ideas.

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Whatever this book is, they've nicked the plot from The Planet of the Apes.

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