A bit more of Gibson's finest and you'll realize that maybe Max is an alien and this is all of some monstrous alien conspiracy. Maybe their abductions? operation went over-budget and this is their fall-back research position.
Granted that any alien that though Mudcatters were typical or representative would have to give up his?her/its?their? claim to being an advanced species........
But you're right about Mudcat being something special. Having banged around on various forums, Usenet groups and chat groups on the internet (and before that on BBS), Mudcat has a certain "feel" that does make it special. If it went away, I'd feel the loss.