An alien symbol is a recurring image in the CW science fiction series Roswell, New Mexico. The symbol appears in alien technology and occasionally around aliens when using their powers, and Max recalls the image from childhood.
The alien symbol consists of three circular designs, each circle extending from a different point of a triangle. One circle consists of a line and two internal circles (typically positioned in the top left); another consists of a cross (typically right); and the third circle consists on a line and a single internal circle on top of the line (typically lower left).
In 1997, Max drew the symbol all over the walls of the group home he was staying at with Isobel and Michael, and Michael took the crayon from Max to calm him down. This is seen by Deputy Michelle Valenti when she visits to check on them. When Ann Evans later arrived with her husband David, she thought Michael had drawn the symbol, which is why the Evanses adopted Max and Isobel but not Michael.
As a kid, Max used to doodle the image on his notebooks and sneakers. On his twenty-first birthday (2011), Max "got trashed" and got the image tattooed on his back-right shoulder.
In 2008, "Isobel" (Noah in Isobel's body) draws the symbol on the gazebo during one of her blackouts with Rosa.
When the power in Roswell comes back after the blackout, it comes back in pieces that resemble an alien symbol before coming fully back up.
After Isobel blacks out and wakes up in the desert, the alien symbol is drawn in the ground around her.
When Wyatt is recovering from being shot, Jenna Cameron asks him to write down his version of the events of the shooting, but he doesn't remember. While they talk, he draws the alien symbol without realizing he's doing so and he doesn't know what it is. Jenna later asks Max about his tattoo, and when she shows him Wyatt's drawing, Max walks off.
After Isobel goes into the alien pod, Max touches the side of the pod and the alien symbol appears where his hand was.
Max and Michael go to Texas to visit the faith healer Arizona, who uses the alien symbol on her fliers. She doesn't really know about the symbol, but her associate Chiana tells Max about it. A woman used to live on their reservation, and she could heal with her hands, and the symbol "drew itself" around her such as in fire and water. The woman died around the time Max, Michael, and Isobel came out of their pods in 1997.
Noah tells Max that the symbol is a map to where they're from.
After regaining his memories of Liz, Max sees the tattoo on his back and has a flashback: the symbol appears overhead where Max, very young, is chained by the ankle.
The symbol appears prominently on the alien prison door that Max, Michael, and Isobel find in a cave. Each of them need to touch a different circle of the symbol to open the door: Max touches the circle with the line and two internal circles (top left); Michael touches the circle consisting of the cross (on the right); and Isobel touches the third circle consisting of a line and a single internal circle over it (lower left).